From the youngest child to the oldest wisened veteran, there is a drive in all of us for communication. In our modern technoscape, this has meant various forms of electronic and digital communications, but even for the infant who as yet has no grasp on technology, their need for physical contact and their penchant for babbling are signs of things to come, of a developing entity with a need to express itself.

From the humble babbling of babes, to the flying thumbs of the texting teenager, to the collected and professional tones of a businessman on a conference call, to the always-appealing phone call from a dear loved one – we are constantly finding new ways to connect with one another, regardless of how old (or young) we may be. Below, we'll examine a few gift ideas geared towards keeping the elderly in touch.

Doro Phones

Doro phones, such as the Liberto 810 and its successor the Liberto 820 are smart phones designed specifically for the elderly or those unfamiliar with smart phone usage. Using a customised version of the Android operating system, the team at DORO has worked to strip down the common smart phone interface into a streamlined experience, featuring helpful things such as over-sized icons and easily readable text.

To help beginners out, the phone features helpful tutorials which walk users step-by-step through the phones major features, such as messaging and camera. For those who want to stay with physical buttons, Doro offers a range of flip phones as well.

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The Corded Telephone

Never underestimate the power of the corded telephone. Still the dominate phone in many households and countless businesses across the world, the corded phone is familiar to everyone and its operation is simple. For the elderly, it is a device they are more likely to be familiar with and find easy to operate as opposed to devices such as the modern smart phone.

However, the corded phone has evolved quite a bit in its day – although, for lovers of all things retro, something like the Wild & Wolf 1950s American Diner Phone might tickle their fancy. But in contrast, we find exceptionally feature rich offerings such as the Siemens Gigaset DL500A and many of its fellows like it, which combine a huge feature set of answering machine and call features into a single device.

Skype And VoIP Phones

Skype and other Voice Over IP (VoIP) calling services are a great way for the elderly to old people phonestay in touch, especially with friends and relatives who might be far away. VoIP services are a great way to remove or reduce long distance calling fees, as they often offer extremely competitive rates.

A VoIP phone includes everything a fully-featured Skype chat might, including 2-way video calling, but in the shape of a familiar corded phone. For those who just want a more straight forward phone, the Gigaset S795 IP is a great option for a basic cordless phone which is fully capable of operating on VoIP.

Keep these in mind when shopping for a gift for the elderly generation.