Problem solved. It was user error, as we suspected. Visited yesterday because of her problems figuring out how to use it, thinking it was broken, and in case it really was, wanted to be able to return it within the two week post-purchase period. There’s nothing wrong with the phone.
Frankly, it doesn’t work a whole lot differently than her old one, but not all the buttons on it are labeled the same way, or have the same graphic on them as her old one did, but they perform the same functions. I added my home phone number to her contacts list. We had her turn the phone off, and back on at least half a dozen times until she got the hang of it.
Her main problem when turning it off, is to not hold down the red button until it shows the “power off” and “restart” option menu, but even when it does, she often “fat finger” hits the OK and outer ring navigator simultaneously, and gets a message that confuses the daylights out of her. We showed her how to clear/erase/back out of that, and start again. Sometimes it takes her four tries, but the main thing is that she knows how to do that now. At least, now that I’ve seen and used her phone myself, if she calls me for tech support, I’ll have a better idea guiding her through it than I did last week.
She laughed when I said “You can teach an old dog new tricks, but will she remember them?” since she’d already made a joke about forgetting things before I said that. She also laughed when I turned off her phone myself for the first time, and felt it vibrate in my hand as it shut down. Told her she’d know for sure it shut off when she felt the vibration, then quickly corrected myself to add — assuming you can feel it. She’s had MS for nearly five decades, so the feeling in her hands and feet is minimal at best. The muscles mostly work, but the nerves don’t so well. She also laughed when I said “If you want to see the vibration in action, put it down on the kitchen table, turn it off, and watch it wiggle around.”
The one thing her new phone has that none of our old ones do is an entire icon screen to get into various functions, instead of just a navigation bar at the top of the screen. We had to teach her how to use the ring around the OK key to navigate through the icons. For now, it’s best to K.I.S.S. Teaching her how to clear her call record, reading/erasing text messages, and listening to/erasing voice mail messages is a lesson for another day, assuming she wants to learn how to do that. She probably doesn’t. Too complicated, but we can do it for her every so often when we visit, if need be. Mission accomplished.
As for Thanksgiving, even though mom was looking forward to us catering a home cooked feast for her as we have for the last ~15 years, her retirement community has banned all visitors this year, so we have been instructed to bring leftovers the following weekend, when the Stasi won’t be out there. We will, but it probably won’t be naked slices of roast turkey. We’ll probably re-purpose the leftovers into pot pie, or stew, to give them an extended “shelf life” in the fridge. She loves my soups, stews, etc., when I bring her some, even for no occasion whatsoever. Beats the food her “Bistro,” which is really just a cafeteria, serves. I’ve never sprung a pot pie on her, but those are pretty tasty, too, and she loves the pie crust I make from scratch. I can make those in single serve sizes easily enough. All she has to do is reheat them, like she does with soup or stew.