The 9 Best Memory Loss Clocks

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This wiki has been updated 34 times since it was first published in December of 2016. These clocks can help anyone with Alzheimer's or other dementia stay aware of the time, day, and date, no matter how forgetful they might be. Most boast large and bright displays with a high contrast level for easy viewing, and many offer alarms for reminders. Some are also so attractive that even those who aren't suffering with any memory loss might want to use one in their office or bedroom. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. American Lifetime Digital

2. DayClox 5-Cycle

3. iGuerburn Talking

Editor's Notes

June 11, 2019:

All memory loss clocks are not created equal, as their assorted features make them useful to various types of infirmities. For this reason, we've opted to keep a variety, some more complicated and some less, to accommodate different users. But, overall, the American Lifetime Digital and the DayClox 5-Cycle remain fine options for many folks. They are both capable of displaying the time, day of the week, and date, without abbreviations, the deciphering of which can be tough for those with dementia and similar infirmities. Also, the former is offered in a range of frame color choices, including cream marble and mahogany, so there's one that will fit nicely with almost any room.

We decided to add the iGuerburn Talking as a top choice, as well, although it's on the more intricate side. It would be a good choice for those who have a live-in caretaker or easy access to someone who can help set it up, if needed. The Rocam Extra Large is another addition; it's quite attractive, so it could be a boon to those who don't want an Alzheimer's clock that draws attention to the fact that it's "different." It can even display the temperature of the room that it's in, in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. But it, too, is slightly complicated. For a simpler alternative, you might consider the GeriGuard Solutions Day Cycle or Active Living Oversized.

4. GeriGuard Solutions Day Cycle

5. La Crosse Technology Atomic

6. Active Living Oversized

7. Rocam Extra Large

8. Yissvic 9-Inch

9. MedCenter Interactive

A Brief History Of Time(-Keeping)

Keeping track of time and how we use it is something we humans have done pretty much since our ancestors were scribbling on the walls of their cave dwellings.

Keeping track of time and how we use it is something we humans have done pretty much since our ancestors were scribbling on the walls of their cave dwellings. From simple things like sundials and calendars all the way up to more modern devices such as wearable electronics, smartphones, and atomic clocks, we’re constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to manage our time and monitor the passing of it. Ancient Babylonians used markings on specially designed bowls filled with water to keep track of time, although the change in pressure as the fluid drained from the vessel meant that they became less accurate as the day progressed. Another remarkable timepiece is the automaton clock, like Munich’s famous Glockenspiel, which features mechanical figurines that act out events from the city’s history.

Aside from the general usefulness of counting off the hours as they pass and knowing when the cows should be ready to come home, time tracking and scheduling today is often a matter of both convenience and courtesy. Looking up at the clock during important meetings could be seen as unprofessional, but having silent alarms to notify us when it’s time for our next appointment helps ensure that clients, colleagues, and loved ones can fit neatly into our busy schedules. Add in personal reminders for time-sensitive tasks, project deadlines, and medications that just can’t wait, and it’s no wonder horology is a bit of an obsession among our kind.

Although the concept of time management may seem like a fundamental aspect of modern life to Americans, Canadians and Northern Europeans — so-called monochronic societies — it’s anathema to Mediterraneans, Latin Americans and certain Arab cultures that embrace a very different view of time, known as polychronism. Monochronism holds punctuality and efficiency in high regard, meaning meetings should be conducted without interruption at their appointed times. In contrast, polychronic societies value relationships and general welfare over strictly defined timetables of events. Collisions between the two treatments of time (and their associated value systems) can make interactions between people from opposite sides of the cultural divide tricky, to say the least. Imagine a polychronic student whose frequent tardiness annoys monochronic classmates and instructors so much that they fail to appreciate the polychron’s lively and engaging class participation.

I Get By… With A Little Help

Modern-day timekeeping devices can help you with anything from waking you up at a certain time to reminding you of important deadlines. There are a variety of different styles and designs available to fit a person's individual needs. The more elementary versions simply tell you the time and date, but the more advanced ones can be programmed with daily schedules, tasks, and reminders for a specific medication or treatment, and customizable alarms or voice alerts for each type of event.

There are a variety of different styles and designs available to fit a person's individual needs.

As vital as time management is to the business world, timekeeping and scheduling can take on even greater significance for individuals affected by cognitive disability or decline, such as those with traumatic brain injuries, dementia, or developmental disabilities. Normally, our life experiences from early childhood become memories stored throughout the brain as groups of neurons. When those neurons don’t fire the way they’re supposed to — due to illness, injury, or aging — the resulting memory loss can adversely affect health, well-being, and quality of life.

The advent of increasingly intelligent timekeeping devices enables those with memory loss to maintain active and healthy lifestyles. Whether it’s keeping tabs on various medications and dosages or helping stave off the disorientation and distress of advancing Alzheimer’s, having effective tools to help manage daily routines can be essential to coping with memory loss.

Who Needs A Memory Loss Clock?

In addition to the natural memory lapses that occur as we age, memory retention and recall can be affected by other issues, such as malnutrition, substance abuse, and disorders like Parkinson's disease or Multiple Sclerosis. For individuals with Down syndrome and developmental disabilities, the effects can be lifelong. Everyday activities like staying in touch with friends and family can become insurmountable challenges without a reliable means of recalling their contact details.

And for progressive conditions, the clock’s functionality can often be tailored to match the user’s changing needs and abilities.

As frustrating as it is to be kept waiting by someone who’s running late for a meeting, it’s no comparison to the daily struggles involved in coping with memory loss. Ranging from the minor nuisance of forgetting whether it’s trash day or not to the extreme distress and disorientation of advanced dementia, the day-to-day challenges faced by individuals with memory loss and their caregivers are considerable. Although memory care facilities seem to be popping up all over the place, not everyone has the wherewithal or need for that level of care. And as handy as a vibrating watch may be in some instances, it’s not an ideal solution for someone with muscle tremors or sensory issues.

Maintaining the steady familiarity of a daily routine and restoring predictability in a life affected by neurological decline can dramatically reduce the stress and difficulty of living with memory loss, which is where memory loss clocks come in. These specialty devices can be programmed to provide essential information and handy reminders of everything from the proper timing of medications to a loved one’s regularly scheduled visit, giving their users more independence and their caregivers a helping hand. Personalized messages announcing the date, time, and purpose of each notification can offer welcome reassurance in moments of disorientation and help users maintain their bearings throughout the day. Other features like bright, oversized, color-coded displays and simplified texts can make it easier to distinguish recurring events from special occasions. And for progressive conditions, the clock’s functionality can often be tailored to match the user’s changing needs and abilities.

Melissa Harr
Last updated by Melissa Harr

Melissa Harr is a language-obsessed writer from Chicagoland who holds both a bachelor of arts and master of arts in English. Although she began as a TEFL teacher, earning several teaching certificates and working in both Russia and Vietnam, she moved into freelance writing to satisfy her passion for the written word. She has published full-length courses and books in the realm of arts & crafts and DIY; in fact, most of her non-working time is spent knitting, cleaning, or committing acts of home improvement. Along with an extensive knowledge of tools, home goods, and crafts and organizational supplies, she has ample experience (okay, an obsession) with travel gear, luggage, and the electronics that make modern life more convenient.

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