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5 Best Dementia Clocks for Your Senior Loved One

Written by Leah Hallstrom
 about the author
9 minute readLast updated May 23, 2022

Our daily lives are driven by the concept of time — from waking up as our alarm sounds to ensuring we make it to that 10 a.m. appointment each Tuesday, we live by the hands or digital figures of our clocks. For our parents and loved ones navigating a dementia diagnosis, time disorientation is a symptom that’s present in even the earliest stages. As dementia progresses, patients often have increased difficulty remembering dates, distinguishing days of the week, and determining day from night.

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Understanding the importance of dementia clocks and calendars

Dementia clocks, sometimes called dementia calendars, are crucial resources to help individuals experiencing memory loss navigate the world around them. Developed specifically for people experiencing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, “day clocks” and ”day and night calendars” are digital clocks set to boldly display the time, date, and day of the week. The day clock was created with input from actual dementia patients, their caretakers, and health care professionals with memory care experience.
Throughout the years, day clocks have been further developed to include visual reminders, appearing as digital icons of suns and moons that help distinguish day from night. Some models have begun to include weather information, displaying a rain cloud or a snowflake to provide clues about what someone might experience if they were to venture outdoors. These clocks support activities of daily living, as they can provide reminders to take medication, eat lunch, or attend medical appointments. This helps ease confusion and establish comfortable routines.
Clocks for dementia patients can help with the following:
  • Promoting independence. You may notice your loved one repeatedly asking what time, day, or year it is. Voice-activated dementia clocks can respond to these types of questions, so someone with dementia can check the time on their own without asking a caretaker.
  • Providing clarity. As dementia progresses, visuospatial skills are challenged. This can make reading a traditional clock face difficult or even impossible. Studies have shown that digital clocks offer greater readability for dementia patients.
  • Reducing anxiety. People with dementia may often become overwhelmed with anxious thoughts in challenging situations. They may feel sudden anxiety when they think they’ve missed a meal or forgotten a special occasion. Dementia clocks can be set with specific reminders that provide personalized alerts to eat lunch or call their grandchildren to say happy birthday.
If you’ve noticed your loved one experiencing confusion or insecurity around time, a dementia clock is a simple addition to their home that could improve their quality of life. The following clocks will help provide a sense of empowerment to dementia patients.

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Best dementia clocks: Features and costs

1. American Lifetime Day Clock

Features: From trusted health care brand American Lifetime, this day clock offers a bright, 8-inch screen with easy-to-interpret messaging, like “now it’s Sunday morning.” The home screen displays the time in clear numerals and spells out the time of day as well as the full day of the week, month, and date. It has five pre-programmed alarms including a wake-up message, medication reminder, and appointment alert. In addition to their quality products, American Lifetime gives back 10% of profits to charities researching dementia, social services, and adult education.
Cost: Get this highly rated dementia clock from American Lifetime for $59.95.

2. Robin Digital Day Clock

Features: This completely customizable, full-color clock is excellent for a senior with dementia. The date, time, and day of the week are displayed clearly, and there’s no limit on the number of alarms you can create. Choose from 20 preprogrammed events or design your own, including personalized birthday and holiday reminders. Select a customizable dimming schedule based on your loved one’s sleep schedule. Set periodic time announcements, and a clear voice will announce the time aloud. Choose from an 8-, 12-, or 15-inch display and six different frame colors, including tomato red and lavender.
Cost: The 8-inch display is $99.95, the 12-inch display is $149.95, or you can pick the full-size, 15-inch display for $199.95.

3. Five Senses Digital Calendar Clock

Features: With bright, bold lettering and an 8-inch display screen, the Five Senses Digital Calendar Clock is easy to read and understand. The digital display shows the day of the week and the time of day. It also includes alarm settings formatted to indicate when it’s time for medication. This dementia clock includes colored image icons that indicate times of day, differentiating between morning, afternoon, evening, and nighttime. An auto-dim feature reduces brightness between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Cost: Find the Five Senses clock on Amazon for $60.99.

4. RecallCue App

Features: This day clock and reminder application is completely free and can be installed quickly on a tablet or cell phone. The clear display shows time, date, day of the week, and weather information. Set calendar reminders for doctor’s appointments, birthdays, and more, and they will pop up as the date approaches. Caregivers and family members can download the app and send text or photo messages to their loved ones. A playlist feature can import nostalgic music to play through the tablet or phone speakers.
Cost: Download the RecallCue app for free.

5. New Day Clock

Features: Personalization is key with the New Day Clock, which includes 16 alarm options and four text colors to choose from. Preprogrammed alarms like “drink water” and “time to shower” can be set to repeat, and each alarm features its own icon. A remote control allows users to change the screen layout or turn off alarms from up to 10 feet away. The day of the week, time, and date are all featured on the 7-inch, high-resolution home screen. When you visit your loved one, bring a flash drive with new photos to display on the clock so they can see recent pictures of family and friends.
Cost: Purchase the New Day Clock for $41.99.

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More helpful memory care tips and tools

Dementia clocks can keep seniors, especially those in the early- and mid-stages of dementia, connected and active in their daily lives. A scientific study provided night and day calendars to 50 dementia patients, and after a three-week period of usage, 80% of them reported the clocks to be useful — with 78% of caregivers in agreement. With a glance at the clock, dementia patients can feel their time anxiety ease and gain instant insight into the world around them.
In addition to a dementia clock, you may want to consider other helpful memory care tips to provide comfort for your loved one.
  • Create a relaxing home environment. Light boxes and night lights can help minimize confusion around the time of day, providing cues for the evening when the lights are bright and for daytime when the lights are off.
  • Try an engaging dementia activity. Create collages of family photos, watch old movies and television shows, or reignite one of your loved one’s passions like knitting or painting.
  • Explore great gift ideas for seniors with dementia. From personalized photo memory games to a dementia-friendly designed music player, find gifts that will keep minds active.
As your loved one progresses through the stages of dementia, you may need additional help caring for them. For personalized support, contact our Senior Care Advisors to learn about the in-home or senior living options available to your loved one.


  1. Boyd, H., Evans, N., & Harris, N. (2016). A clock that does not tell the time: How the day clock meets the needs of people living with dementiaDesigning Around People.

  2. Koreki, A., Kusudo, K., Suzuki, H., Nozaki, S., Onaya, M., Bowes, A., & Sado, M. (2021). Are analogue or digital clocks friendlier for people living with dementia?Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra.

  3. Pincock, S. (2003, August 30). Light boxes can help older people with dementia. BMJ.

  4. Topo, P., Saarikalle, K., Begley, E., Cahill, S., Holthe, T., & Macijauskiene, J. (2007, April). “I don’t know about the past or the future, but today it’s Friday” — Evaluation of a time aid for people with dementiaTechnology and Disability.

Meet the Author
Leah Hallstrom

Leah Hallstrom is a copywriter at OurParents, crafting articles on senior living topics like home health, memory care, and hospice services. Previously, she worked as a communications professional in academia. Leah holds bachelor’s degrees in communication studies and psychology from the University of Kansas.

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