RAZ Memory Cell Phone – A Phone for Dementia 

RAZ Mobility on Dementia MapRAZ Memory Cell Phone – A Phone for Dementia
Submitted By Robert Felgar, CEO
RAZ Mobility

RAZ Mobility started its journey with the RAZ Memory Cell Phone in February 2021. Our vision was clear: to make available a unique cell phone that empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities, especially dementia, to continue to use a cell phone even as their condition deteriorates.

The vision is now reality, and we are extremely proud that thousands of individuals with dementia are using our phone. The recipe used to achieve this success was threefold:

  • First, the experience for the senior must be as simple as possible!
  • Second, the caregiver is provided the ability to manage all features of the RAZ Memory Cell Phone remotely from an online portal and soon an app.
  • Third, every feature offered by the RAZ Memory Cell Phone must be optional, in line with our objective of preserving simplicity.

The Senior’s Experience with the RAZ Memory Cell Phone

The RAZ Memory Cell Phone has one primary screen, and one screen only. The screen accommodates up to six contacts, with an option for up to twenty four. Contacts have pictures with names underneath. The pictures help individuals who cannot always remember the names of their contacts or who may have difficulty reading.

RAZ Memory Cell Phone on Dementia Map

There is also a button to call 9-1-1. The user does not have to enter the 9-1-1 digits. To make calls, the user taps and holds the picture of the person they want to call. That’s it! There is no menu system, no apps, no ability to access settings, etc.

To further simplify the experience, the volume button is disabled and is always set to maximum, and the screen does not even lock or go to “sleep.”  The display is always on.

With an update that will arrive in November or December of 2021, there will be an option for a dialer.  This will allow seniors, whose dementia is less advanced, to call any number, rather than only contacts.

The Caregiver’s Experience

Normally a phone’s features are managed by the user in device settings or in individual applications. In the case of the RAZ Memory Cell Phone, to maximize simplicity, the phone is managed through an easy-to-use online portal that can be accessed by the caregiver from anywhere in the world. Thus, control of the phone is completely in the hands of the caregiver, not the senior with dementia.

Starting in November or December 2021, caregivers can also manage the RAZ Memory Cell Phone through an app (either iOS or Android.)

RAZ Memory Phone Portal on Dementia Map

Currently, the portal allows the caregiver to add and edit a maximum of twenty-four contacts, and there is an option to add individuals to a “White List.” These are people who can call the senior, but whom the senior cannot call.

For seniors who are vulnerable to predatory calls from telemarketers and others, the caregiver can use the portal to limit incoming calls to those from contacts only.  If the senior has a habit of not placing the phone to their ear during a phone conversation, the portal can further be used to make all calls go automatically to the speaker.

If the caregiver cannot reach their loved one, they can go to the portal to check if the phone is low on battery or has poor connectivity. The caregiver can even look up the phone’s location to find their lost senior (or lost phone.) And for those seniors who have difficulty turning their phone on or off, the caregiver can disable the power button.

In November or December of 2021, a number of great additional features will be available:

  • First, the senior’s contacts will be able to video call the senior.
  • Second, the caregiver will be able to send the senior reminders. The reminders will appear as “sticky notes” on the phone, as well as be sent to the senior as audio messages in the caregiver’s voice.
  • Third, if the senior gets confused and calls repeatedly in the middle of the night, the caregiver can set up quiet hours. These are hours during which the senior cannot place calls. The message that the senior hears when they call during the quiet hours can be personalized in the caregiver’s voice.
  • Fourth, if the senior has difficulty answering calls, the phone can be set up to answer calls automatically. This feature may also be helpful in the event of an emergency. For example, if the senior has fallen and cannot answer their phone.
  • Fifth, text messages can be sent to the caregiver when the phone’s battery gets low. This will help the caregiver remind the senior to charge their phone.
  • A number of additional improvements will be available with the upcoming release in November or December of 2021.

RAZ Memory Phone Overview

Customized 911 Experience

There is one important issue that has not yet been discussed: some people with dementia repeatedly call 911 and report imagined emergencies. If this occurs often enough, the family may have to take away the phone.

To prevent this problem, some caregivers have asked us to remove the emergency button. Legal considerations prevent us from doing this, and we want our customers to be able to request help when needed. So, we developed the RAZ Emergency Service as an alternative to 911.

This Service directs emergency calls to a private emergency dispatch agent. The agent will know that the caller suffers from memory loss and will determine whether to contact 911 guided by this knowledge. Also, text messages will be sent to designated caregivers, providing caregivers the opportunity to cancel the emergency call so that 911 is not contacted.

To date, this Service has prevented well over a thousand unnecessary calls to 911. It has been a great solution to a difficult problem. The RAZ Emergency Service is optional and costs $79.99 for the year or $7.99 per month with a $19.99 sign-up fee.

Price and Wireless Service

The RAZ Memory Cell Phone is available in two versions:

  1. The first version operates exclusively on T-Mobile’s network and costs $309. Currently, the phone comes with a free SIM card and three (3) free months of service from MINT Mobile, which is a T-Mobile reseller.
  2. The second version works with almost all wireless providers, including T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Consumer Cellular, MINT Mobile and more. This version costs $349 and comes with a free SIM card from Affinity Cellular, which operates on the Verizon network. After the free months of service, Affinity Cellular costs $30/month for unlimited talk, text and 3GB of data.

Robert Felgar, CEO
RAZ Mobility

RAZ Mobility on Dementia MapAs mobile technology advances, its potential to positively impact people with disabilities is magnified, and the importance of identifying the best mobile solutions increases in importance.

RAZ Mobility searches all over the world for unique and transformative technology, and makes this technology available to state and federal government agencies, senior and assisted living providers, schools, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies, and consumers.

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