In the latter stages of dementia, it’s common for sufferers to lose track of time. They may drift into the past and lose themselves completely, and they may forget key appointments and dates. Simple clocks aren’t always effective, as they often overlook details that are assumed obvious and unnecessary.
For example, take a look at your watch or your phone. It might tell you the time and even the day of the month, but does it state the month and the year? Does it make it clear whether it’s AM or PM? More importantly, are the details large enough to be seen by someone with limited eyesight?
Dementia clocks take all these things into consideration, making it easier for the person to tell the time and to understand what day, date, and year it is.
What is a Dementia Clock?
Dementia clocks feature large digital displays and look a lot like tablet computers. The best dementia clocks will feature aspects such as:
- Clear Details: All necessary details, including the day, time, and date, should be displayed in a clear font and should be large enough to be viewable by people with limited vision. It should also display whether it is morning or evening. This can be shown via the placement of “AM” or “PM,” as well as a clear “Morning” or “Evening.”
- Color Options: Black text on a grey background seems to be the most common clock layout, but many of the best dementia clocks will include multiple options, including white-on-black, red-on-white, black-on-blue, and more.
- Simple Modes: Rather than displaying all information in an exact form, some clocks allow you to switch to modes that say simple things like, “It is now Monday afternoon.” If the patient struggles to read the time, this mode is ideal.
- Voice: Some clocks and alternative options will speak the time and the date aloud. It’s a great option for people who struggle to read the time but are able to understand it when it is spoken to them. However, this typically entails a jump in price.
How Much do Dementia Clocks Cost?
The price of dementia clocks can range considerably. Some of them incorporate features commonly found in smartphones and tablets and are simply adapted Android tablets.
These can be a good option if you need other features, including applications, sound, and more. However, if you need a simple clock to display on the mantelpiece, bedside table, or coffee table at all times, a basic dementia clock will suffice. These retail for less than $30 and can be purchased from major stores like Walmart, as well as Amazon and eBay.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to buy one of these clocks and shouldn’t invest too much. You can certainly pay more money to get a bigger, better, and flashier clock, but if those features are unnecessary there’s no need to splash the cash.
The Best Dementia Clocks
Now that we’ve covered the basics and discussed the features and purpose of a dementia clock, it’s time to look at the best ones. What follows is a cherry-picked selection of recommended dementia clocks, all available from Amazon for less than $60.
This is by no means a complete list, so just because a clock isn’t on this list doesn’t mean it won’t serve its purpose!
American Lifetime Day Clock: Extra Large with Alarm = Around $50
One of the highest-rated dementia clocks on Amazon at the time of writing, the American Lifetime Day Clock is a reliable, sturdy, and relatively cheap option that costs around $50. It connects to a power source but has a backup battery just in case there is an outage, and it also has 5 different alarm options.
The day, date, and time are all displayed clearly on an 8-inch HD screen and it features a strong stand.
Robin 2020 Digital Display Clock 2.0 = Around $60
A clean white dementia clock with a very clear display. One of our favorite features here is the text-to-speak—with the press of a button, the clock will announce the date and time.
It comes with several presets, allowing you to change the way the details are displayed, and it is available in 10 different languages: English, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, French, Arabic, Japanese, German, Portuguese, and Russian.
The clock is a little more expensive than the other options on this list, but it’s only 20% more than our top selection.
SVINZ 3 Alarms Dementia Clock = Around $40
A simple dementia clock that displays the day, morning/evening, time, and the date on a clear screen and in an easy-to-read format. There is an auto-dimming feature that reduces the glare during the night and lights-up during the day, and it has two alarm options.
Raynic 11.5 Inch = Around $30 to $40
At 11.5 inches, this is one of the biggest clocks on our list. The on-screen writing can be adjusted to meet 5 light levels, but in reality only two of these are worthwhile unless the viewer has very sensitive eyes and can’t stare at bright lights. It has an alarm clock and also features a temperature display.
YISSVIC Day Clock 9 Inches = Around $40 to $50
A large wide-screen clock that features a remote control, large letters, and a very clear display. It has nine different language options and an alarm feature, and the brightness also dims during the evening.
Smart devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa can tell you the time, day, and date when you ask. If the patient is able to ask and understand the process, it can be very helpful, although that isn’t always the case.
Additionally, these devices require a constant Wi-Fi connection, so if the signal drops or is generally very poor it will be useless.
If you’re using Amazon to purchase a dementia clock, as we would recommend, make sure you check the reviews and the seller. Amazon is a great source of cheap electronics but many of them are manufactured by no-name brands in China and are produced in huge numbers, with little consideration given to quality control.
Not only are they prone to issues, but if you have an issue you may struggle to get a replacement or a refund. Check the reviews, make sure those reviews are verified, and focus on the negatives as well as the positives.