What are Picture Dialer Phones and Their Benefits for the Elderly?

As people age, they face motor, sensory, and cognitive decline that may compromise their ability to do daily activities. One important instrumental activity of daily living for seniors is the use of telephones. However, a lot of them have difficulty making and receiving calls. A lot of seniors are unable to use telephones due to different reasons, such as the lack of need, the cost of special features, and not having knowledge of the features. Some of them also find it difficult to use telephones, and others are unable to dial the numbers correctly.

Fortunately, there are now a lot of features that can be added to the telephone that may help compensate for impairments. One of the great ways in order for the elderly to use telephones well is through the use of picture dialer phones. They are available and perfect for seniors who have sight and hearing impairments and memory issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s. These telephones feature larger dialer pads, improved volume controls, boosted call sound, and pictures on speed dial buttons, allowing seniors to call important people without having to memorize numbers.

If it is your first time hearing about picture dialer phones and you’re interested to learn more about them, we are here to help you. In this post, we are giving you more information about what picture dialer phones are and their benefits to the elderly.

What is a Picture Dialer Phone?

a smiling senior woman smiling while using the telephone

A picture dialer phone is a type of telephone made for seniors and people who have visual or cognitive impairments. These telephones feature large buttons that display a photo of the person or service being called, unlike regular telephones that display only numbers. With this, the senior can recognize the person they want to call based on the picture. It makes it easy and more convenient for them to make calls to their loved ones and other important services.

It was around the early 2000s when picture dialer phones were introduced to the market. They were developed by technology companies for elderly individuals and people with disabilities. They aimed to address the difficulties that a lot of older people face when using traditional telephones with small buttons, confusing menus, and hard-to-read displays. Picture dialer phones are also great for seniors who are suffering from memory issues. They can help reduce stress and anxiety associated with using traditional phones, as seniors will no longer make mistakes when dialing the correct number.

Before, picture dialer phones were just basic devices that had large buttons and simple displays. But as years passed, technology advanced, which made picture dialer phones more sophisticated today. They now feature large display fonts, speakerphones, and emergency call buttons. All of these functions may provide added safety and security for elderly users. These telephones became popular among family members and caregivers who are constantly finding ways to ensure the safety and security of their elderly loved ones.

What are the Advantages of Using Picture Dialer Phones for Seniors?

senior woman using a cordless telephone

If you are wondering how seniors can benefit from using a picture dialer phone, below are some of the advantages that they can get from it:

What are the Advantages of Using Picture Dialer Phones for Seniors

Ease of Use

The main goal of picture dialer phones is to make it easy for individuals to contact their loved ones and other important people. That is why they are mostly designed with simple, large buttons and screens to make it easier for older people to read and use the phone to contact whomever they wish to speak with. Most picture dialer phones are user-friendly as they aim to lessen the stress and anxiety that most elderly people feel whenever they need to use the telephone.

Photo-Based Speed Dialing

The main feature that a picture dialer telephone has is photo-based speed dialing. This feature allows the senior or the user to assign a photo to a particular contact. Doing this makes it easier for them to recognize who they are calling and to easily reach out to their most frequently called loved ones or contacts. They no longer need to memorize and dial the numbers one by one on the keypad. With just one press of a button with a photo, they will be able to call whoever they wish to speak with.

Access to Emergency Contacts

There are also many picture dialer phones that have designated emergency buttons. These allow seniors to call emergency services or a pre-designated emergency contact fast. This feature is very helpful during unforeseen circumstances when a senior needs help from certain services like doctors or hospitals. If they have medical emergencies, a press of a button may help save their lives.

Provides Visual Aids

Since speed dialing in picture dialer phones are photo-based, they provide seniors the ability to see the photos of their contacts. This is very helpful, especially for seniors who are suffering from memory issues like dementia or Alzheimer’s. It helps them remember who they are calling, and in the long run, may help them build a sense of familiarity.

Give Seniors and Family Members Peace of Mind

There are some seniors who choose to live alone instead of living with their family members. If this is the case, a picture dialer phone may provide peace of mind and independence for them as they can use it to easily and quickly call for help in case of an emergency. The same goes for family members and loved ones of the senior. They can ensure that in case of any unforeseen events, their senior loved one may be able to reach out to them easily through the use of a picture dialer phone.

Picture dialer phones are indeed helpful for seniors to stay connected with family and friends, and they can help them maintain their independence. However, while they have a lot of benefits, there are also a few drawbacks that you need to consider. One of those is the cost of picture dialer phones. It’s because some of them can be more expensive compared to traditional landline phones.

Aside from that, some older people may find it challenging to set up and use the features of these phones, such as assigning photos to contacts. Also, since they are like traditional telephones, they are not portable and can only be used in a single location. Therefore, before you purchase one for your senior loved one, you first need to ensure that they will be able to use it without any hassle.

Different Types of Picture Dialer Phones

a telephone with big buttons

If you are thinking of buying a picture dialer phone for your senior loved one, there are a lot of options that you can find in stores and online. This can make it quite challenging to find the best one that will suit their needs. To further help you, below are the different types of picture dialer phones for seniors and a few examples to aid you in picking the right one.

Corded Picture Dialer Phones

Corded picture dialer phones look similar to traditional landline telephones as they are connected to a telephone line. But they have bigger buttons and feature buttons where photos of different contacts can be placed. Most of the time, corded picture dialer phones are more affordable compared to cordless ones. They are the best choice for seniors who prefer to have a traditional telephone at home that they can easily and conveniently use. Below are some examples of corded picture dialer phones to help you choose:

Future Call FC-0613 Picture Phone for Seniors: This picture phone is best for seniors who have dementia or Alzheimer’s. It has one-touch dialing enabled so that seniors can easily contact the person they want to talk to with just one press of a button. The phone is also amplified for better hearing, and it features a high and low switch at the back to choose between loud and normal volume levels. The ringer volume can also be adjusted. A 1×1 photo can be added to each number to make speed dialing easier for seniors.

Big Button Corded Phone for Seniors: The handset of this telephone features an original foam cover that provides a soft non-slip surface that is comfortable to help seniors with grip impairments like arthritic hands, making it ideal for seniors. It is an extra loud phone with a ringer and handset volume control. It also features memory keys that are straightforward to program and easy to use. Photos can also be added to these memory keys to make it easier for seniors to know who they are calling.

Dododuck Corded Big Button Phone for Seniors: This telephone is best for seniors who are hearing impaired as its volume and ring intensity can be adjusted. It has large buttons with pictures, which are designed for seniors with dementia. The phone is simple to use and made of durable materials.

Cordless Picture Dialer Phones

Compared to corded picture dialer phones, cordless ones are more portable. They allow seniors to move around the house while making and receiving calls. There are also some cordless phones that have a base station used as a charging station and a separate cordless handset that can be brought with the user. The only downside with cordless picture dialer phones is the limited battery life that they have, especially if the senior forgets to charge them. Below are a few examples of cordless picture dialer phones to help you pick:

Vtech SN5127 Amplified Cordless Senior Phone: This telephone temporarily increases overall volume up to 50dB and enhances sound frequencies to make speech easier to understand. Four frequently called numbers can be programmed, and their photos can be attached to each button for fast and convenient dialing. This phone has big buttons and a large display, which are perfect for seniors.

Vtech SN5307 Amplified Photo Dial Phone: With this telephone, seniors will never forget whose number is whose. They can program four frequently dialed numbers and attach a photo for each of them. This phone also has a visual ringing indicator to signal incoming calls. It also has a caller ID that announces the name of the caller, so the seniors don’t need to scramble for the handset to know who is calling. It can also be used as a speakerphone, making it more convenient.

Big Button Amplified Speakerphone Picture Phone: This phone features ten one-touch or two-touch memory picture keys for dialing. It has a 2-way high-level speakerphone function. The volume of the ringer can also be adjusted to your preference.


Overall, picture dialer phones can be a great choice for seniors who are looking for a simple and easy-to-use telephone with large buttons and photo-based speed dialing. However, when choosing a picture dialer phone for the elderly, it is important to pick one that fits their specific needs, such as the type of telephone, the features that will be useful for them, and the intended use. This way, you can ensure that your senior loved ones will be able to use them easily and conveniently to stay connected with family members, friends, and important contacts that may help them in case of emergencies. We hope this post helped you learn more about picture dialer phones and their benefits for the elderly.