A Clock For All TimeS

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By Broc Sears, MFA

There are mornings when I wake up and honestly don’t know what day it is. Luckily I am at a point in my life where I can still move my watch or cell phone to a distance where the date and day of the week are recognizable.

But others find keeping track of time frustrating. For them, retirement has blended weekdays into weekends and the impact of age, memory loss, or irregular sleeping cycles have taken simple time references away. The good news is that tools for these users are surfacing every day.

Oversized timepieces have been around for decades but in recent years companies have developed large-format digital displays that present the time, date, day, time of day and more.

I thought that such a clock would help an elderly family member who has recently wrestled with confusion in sleep cycles, keeping track of days and medications times. My Internet searches included the terms “dementia,” “memory loss,” and “impaired vision” clocks. After sifting through results and reading reviews, my choice was the Day Clock by American Lifetime I found on sale at Amazon.com for $54.99.

The clock rests easily on a dresser or countertop and takes up little space if hung on the wall. The display area is nearly 7” x 5” and has bright, backlit white lettering on a black background that can be seen easily from 10 to 15 feet away.

What I like:

  • The clock displays words like pre-dawn, morning, afternoon, evening, etc.
  • Five alarms can be set to also display messages like “Take your morning medicine.”
  • After a power failure, a battery backup will automatically reset the clock to the correct time.
  • The display can be set to dim in the evening while the user sleeps.
  • Several different languages can be displayed.

What I don’t like:

  • The battery does not keep the display on during a power failure.
  • The clock needs to be set up by someone comfortable with navigating onscreen menus.
  • Someone has to set the clock when time “springs” forward or “falls” back.
  • The printed instructions can be confusing.

I am sure that my observations as the buyer are helpful, but the best recommendation for this useful timepiece is that our family member has found the clock useful, misses none of his medication times and has a higher confidence level and better attitude than before.

Broc Sears is a strategic communication instructor in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication at Texas Christian University.

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