Dementia Phone vs CallGenie : In-Depth Comparison

Dementia, a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long-term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember, affects millions of elderly people worldwide. It significantly impairs daily functioning, making effective communication increasingly challenging for those affected. In this context, technology, especially video calling devices like CallGenie, plays a crucial role in bridging the communication gap between people with dementia and their loved ones.

Understanding Dementia's Impact on Communication

Dementia can alter cognitive functions such as memory, understanding, and judgment, affecting the individual's ability to engage in regular phone conversations. As dementia progresses, individuals may find it difficult to recognise voices, follow along with audio-only cues, or even forget to hold a phone. This condition necessitates an alternative approach to communication that accommodates their changing abilities.

Advantages of Video Calling Devices Over Traditional Telephones

  • Visual Recognition: Video calls allow those with dementia to see the face of the person they are talking to, which can help their recognition and recall. Visual cues are often stronger than auditory ones for memory retention and emotional connection, making video calls more effective than traditional phone calls.

  • Non-verbal Communication: Body language and facial expressions, crucial for emotional sharing, are completely lost in standard telephone conversations. Video calling technology, like CallGenie, enables users to observe these non-verbal cues, enhancing understanding and empathy between the caller and the recipient.

  • Engagement and Interaction: Video calls can be more engaging for people with dementia, holding their attention better than audio-only calls. This is particularly important in the later stages of dementia where individuals may not respond as actively to a regular phone call.

  • Simplicity and Accessibility: Devices like CallGenie are designed with simplicity in mind, offering capabilities such as automatic answering. This contrasts with mobile phones and traditional telephones, which can be complicated to operate for someone with cognitive decline.

  • Safety and Supervision: Video calling devices can also function as a tool for caregivers to check on people with dementia more frequently, ensuring their safety and well-being without being physically present at all times.

  • Enhanced Autonomy and Reduced Isolation: By facilitating easier communication, video calling devices help reduce feelings of isolation, a common issue among the elderly with dementia. They provide a sense of normalcy and autonomy in their interactions, crucial for mental health and emotional well-being.

Why CallGenie Stands Out

CallGenie specifically addresses the needs of those with dementia  by connecting directly to a television, offering a larger display that is easier for the elderly person to view. The system’s design for automatic operation removes the need for user input, which can be a significant barrier for those with cognitive impairments. Furthermore, the incorporation of real-time subtitles caters to those who may have hearing difficulties, a common co-occurrence with both the elderly and those with dementia.


As the global population ages and the prevalence of dementia increases, the need for adapted communication technologies becomes more acute. Video calling devices, such as CallGenie, represent a significant advancement over traditional telephones, particularly for those with dementia. They not only improve the quality of communication but also enhance the overall quality of life for those with dementia by keeping them connected with their families and caregivers in a more meaningful way. These devices embody a compassionate approach to technology, where the focus is on enhancing human connection and supporting those in society who are most vulnerable.

CallGenie : Key Features

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    Connects to the Television

    CallGenie connects to the user's television, typically the largest screen in a person's home. Why would you introduce another smaller screen into their living environment, when the television is already there in front of them?

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    Safe & Secure

    CallGenie only answers incoming video calls from known contacts. Just add family and friends to the contacts list to enable them to connect.

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    Auto-Answering Video Calls

    CallGenie is waiting for loved ones to call. It automatically turns on the television, if it's on standby, and switches the input to the incoming video call. At the end of the call, CallGenie returns the television to its original state.

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    Real-Time Subtitles

    With age might come challenges related to hearing. CallGenie addresses this by offering real-time subtitles, ensuring that every word spoken by loved ones can be read from the screen. The size of the text can be configured to suit the eye sight of the user.

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    One-off Cost – No Monthly Fees

    No monthly fees to pay. Just connect CallGenie to the user's broadband and plug it into their television. Set up is done remotely via a video call, to make sure everything works perfectly.

    12 months of full support and warranty included.

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    Our Guarantee

    We understand the importance of making sure that CallGenie works seamlessly with the user's television. The television must go back to its original state after a call, and when the user turns on the television from standby there should be no surprises. In the very rare case that we can't get CallGenie to work seamlessly, we will give you a full refund of the purchase price.

CallGenie : How Does It Work?

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    Getting Set-up

    Plug in the box, connect it to Wi-Fi and to the television. That just leaves the final configuration, which is done remotely over a video call with us.

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    Make a Call

    Make a video call using Skype on either your smartphone, tablet or computer.

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    Accept the Call

    CallGenie will turn on the television (if needed), and switch automatically to the input for the video call. All of this without your loved one needing to do anything.

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    Enjoy Your Call

    Enjoy having a catch up with your loved one on the big screen. It'll feel like you're in the same room together.

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    Finish Your Call

    Hang up the call, when you have finished, and CallGenie will automatically switch back to the programme they were watching (and turn the off television, if it was off before the call).

About CallGenie

CallGenie started as a project in early 2017 to provide a way for Graham, the founder of Smart Life Solutions, to make Skype video calls to his elderly mother, who suffered with dementia and mobility issues.

Graham’s mother wasn’t accustomed to using technology to communicate, which is the case with many elderly people. She could use a phone and the remote control for her television. However, mobile phones and tablets were left in drawers, with no charge. Graham, therefore, decided to draw on his IT background. He was convinced that in amongst the extensive emerging smart home technologies there would be a solution.

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