Seniors with Hearing Loss Stay Connected with Free Caption Phones

hearing loss

Hearing loss makes using the telephone difficult

When older adults have hearing loss, using the phone can become nearly impossible. If your older adult has been avoiding talking on the phone, that could be the cause.

But telephones are an important source of safety and social connection. So, we found a special type of phone that solves this problem.

It’s called a caption phone. Even better, internet-based caption phones and service are free for people with hearing loss through a program funded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

On a caption phone, the live phone conversation appears in easy-to read text on a large screen. Other than that, it works like a regular telephone – dial and answer calls as usual. Speak and listen using the phone handset like always.

They’re helpful for people with hearing loss that affects their ability to use a standard telephone. It gives them a lifeline in case they need to call for help as well as keeping them connected to family and friends.

We explain why helping older adults keep connected is important for health and how seniors with hearing loss can get a free caption phone.



Keeping connected is important for senior health

Loneliness and social isolation have significant negative impacts on senior health. Feeling alone can increase the risk of depression, poor nutrition, cognitive decline, and more.

Studies have shown that seniors who are socially isolated tend to have greater risk of death and die earlier. They also have poorer quality of life while they’re alive.

So, helping older adults with hearing loss connect with family and friends, like through the telephone, improves mental and physical health.


How seniors can get a free caption phone

To get a free caption phone, first choose a company that sells caption phones.

There are many companies that offer caption phones and service (in alphabetic order), here are some:

To get a free caption phone and service, people with hearing loss must certify that they have a hearing loss that necessitates use of captioned telephone service.

Companies that offer caption phones will be able to guide you through the qualification process. Typically, a form like this one must be completed and then signed by a medical professional or audiologist.

Before going through the process, make sure your older adult has:


Installation Process

There should be no additional charges for delivery and installation. A local trainer helps install the phone in the home. The trainer makes sure the phone works and teaches how to use it.

The trainer will also complete the additional paperwork required by the FCC.


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: CapTel


This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


  • Reply October 31, 2020

    Lauraine Moore

    Where in Adelaide South Australia can I get a caption phone

  • Reply October 10, 2020

    Dorothy van Den Biggelaar Biggelaar

    Is this available in British Columbia Canada?

    • Reply October 11, 2020


      The free caption phone program is a U.S. program, but the Canadian government might have something similar.

  • Reply July 25, 2019


    Is there anything available to pay for or help with the cost of the land line needed for the phone? There is a connection plug on the wall for a phone but I do not have telephone service .
    Thank you very much

    • Reply July 25, 2019


      You may want to contact the land line telephone service provider in your area to find out if they have programs that can help with the cost of phone service.

  • Reply June 7, 2019

    James Terrill

    My caption call phone has stopped working and is leaking some sticky stuff around the MENU button and under the monitor. Is there a repair/replacement service? The former phone number was 1 (xxx) xxx-xxxx, which, of course, no longer rings but he answering machine attachment does..

    I am almost totally deaf and miss the phone.

    James Terrill

    • Reply June 8, 2019


      I’m sorry to hear that your caption phone isn’t working. We’re not affiliated with Caption Call, so you’ll need to contact them to get help with your phone. Their contact information is — Phone: 1-877-557-2227, Email:, Website:

  • Reply December 27, 2018

    Patsy Leblond

    Is this service or phone available in Ontario, Canada.

    • Reply December 27, 2018


      This is a service that’s free in the United States for those who qualify because it’s paid for by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It’s possible that there are similar benefits programs in Canada. We’re not familiar with phone services in Canada, but it’s also likely that you could also purchase similar caption phones for use in Canada.

  • Reply July 27, 2018


    Can this caption phone capture a Spanish conversation?

    • Reply July 28, 2018


      That’s a great question. We’d suggest contacting CaptionCall to find out. They can be reached at 1-877-557-2227

  • Reply May 23, 2018

    Please send information by mail

    I have gone thru [3] different ais brands and none seem to work. Last audio test
    the tech said he thought nothing would be able to help my loss. I do have a
    computer Please let me know what is available in writing and what would this
    company recommend..

  • Reply May 23, 2018

    Kemble K. Kennedy, Jr,

    I have a question: I have gone thru [3] sets of hearing aids and none helps my hearing.
    Audiologist says apparently nothing will help with my hearing problem. i have
    been around noise all of my life and no ais seems to help. I do have a
    computer. What would suggest in your line of apparatus.

  • Reply May 3, 2018


    hi can we purchase this phone and can work for another country?

    • Reply May 3, 2018


      We don’t know the answer to that, but my guess would be no because phone systems are different across countries. You may want to give CaptionCall a call at 1-877-557-2227 and ask them.

  • Reply April 7, 2018

    Dorri P

    Sorry if this seems like an odd question, but I am not very familar with a caption phone? Does the person on the other end have to type an email to you, for you to get the captioning on your phone? How do you respond back?

    • Reply April 7, 2018


      That’s a great question. Unless you had been told, you probably would never know that you were speaking to someone who is using a caption phone. A caption phone doesn’t require anybody to do anything different. You would call the person who owns a caption phone and speak as you normally would to anyone on any phone. The caption phone will translate your spoken words into written words, which will be displayed on the caption phone’s screen. That helps the person with low hearing to know what you’re saying when you call. They would then speak to you through the phone handset and you will hear their voice as if they were using a regular phone. I hope that clarifies things!

  • Reply January 12, 2018

    Gail overcash

    Older person has hearing aids can they still get a free phone

    • Reply January 20, 2018


      Gail — We assume that someone with hearing aids would be eligible for a caption phone because they do have hearing loss. To be sure, check with CaptionCall directly. They can be reached at 1-877-557-2227

  • Reply August 4, 2017

    Barbara Carnahan

    I want to know first of all whether one has to have internet to make this phone function.
    Secondly, I would rather purchase the phone than jump through all the hoops to get a free phone.
    No one MOST IMPORTANT, must you have internet for this phone?
    This is an urgent questions.

    • Reply August 5, 2017


      Hi Barbara — According to CaptionCall, this caption phone requires a high-speed internet connection in order to work. As far as we know, all caption phones require high-speed internet. You may want to give CaptionCall a call at 1-877-557-2227 to see if they have any options that don’t require an internet connection.

    • Reply January 9, 2018


      There are captioned phones that do not require internet. CapTel makes some.

      • Reply January 9, 2018


        That’s fantastic to know! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply November 7, 2016

    Bruce LaDue

    I’m trying to set up my voicemail on my Caption Phone. Need directions. HELP

    • Reply November 7, 2016


      For help with your Caption Phone, please call Caption Call customer service at 1-877-557-2227

      I hope they can help you get your voice mail set up quickly and easily. Enjoy the phone!

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