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simple alarm clocks for elderly and seniors

5 Simple Alarm Clocks for Elderly and Seniors

Personally, I think it's a shame that seniors and elderly even need to use alarm clocks. But, it is a reality. More and more senior citizens continue to work well into their golden years. So, unfortunately, an alarm clock may still be needed. Simple alarm clocks for elderly and seniors are becoming very important. Of course, not every older person needs one. But, some seniors  with confusion, hearing problems, and vision difficulties many need to look at an alarm clock that is easy to use and assist them better in their daily living.   Here is what seniors should look for in an alarm clock and a few of my favorites.

Comparisons: Simple Alarm Clocks for Elderly and Seniors

Photo
TOP PICK!
[Newest Version] Day Clock - Extra Large Impaired Vision Digital Clock with Battery Backup & 5 Alarm...
TOP PICK!
HITO Atomic Bedside Desk Travel Alarm Clock w/ Date, Temp, Week, Auto Night Light- Battery Operated
LED Digital Alarm Clock - Outlet Powered, No Frills Simple Operation, Large Night Light, Alarm,...
Alarm Clock (Upgraded) - Analog, Battery Operated, No Frills Simple Operation, Non Ticking, Snooze,...
Sonic Alert SB300SS Sonic Boom Loud Vibrating Alarm Clock with Large Display
Product
[Newest Version] Day Clock - Extra Large Impaired Vision Digital Clock with Battery Backup & 5 Alarm...
HITO Atomic Bedside Desk Travel Alarm Clock w/ Date, Temp, Week, Auto Night Light- Battery Operated
LED Digital Alarm Clock - Outlet Powered, No Frills Simple Operation, Large Night Light, Alarm,...
Alarm Clock (Upgraded) - Analog, Battery Operated, No Frills Simple Operation, Non Ticking, Snooze,...
Sonic Alert SB300SS Sonic Boom Loud Vibrating Alarm Clock with Large Display
Mini-Review
A bit more difficult to set alarms, but ideal for dementia or Alzheimer's.
Easy to use alarm clock that sets the time itself.
Simple digital alarm clock with easy controls.
Back to basics with this simple analog alarm clock.
Basic alarm clock with bed shaker option for hard of hearing.
TOP PICK!
Photo
[Newest Version] Day Clock - Extra Large Impaired Vision Digital Clock with Battery Backup & 5 Alarm...
Product
[Newest Version] Day Clock - Extra Large Impaired Vision Digital Clock with Battery Backup & 5 Alarm...
Mini-Review
A bit more difficult to set alarms, but ideal for dementia or Alzheimer's.
TOP PICK!
Photo
HITO Atomic Bedside Desk Travel Alarm Clock w/ Date, Temp, Week, Auto Night Light- Battery Operated
Product
HITO Atomic Bedside Desk Travel Alarm Clock w/ Date, Temp, Week, Auto Night Light- Battery Operated
Mini-Review
Easy to use alarm clock that sets the time itself.
Photo
LED Digital Alarm Clock - Outlet Powered, No Frills Simple Operation, Large Night Light, Alarm,...
Product
LED Digital Alarm Clock - Outlet Powered, No Frills Simple Operation, Large Night Light, Alarm,...
Mini-Review
Simple digital alarm clock with easy controls.
Photo
Alarm Clock (Upgraded) - Analog, Battery Operated, No Frills Simple Operation, Non Ticking, Snooze,...
Product
Alarm Clock (Upgraded) - Analog, Battery Operated, No Frills Simple Operation, Non Ticking, Snooze,...
Mini-Review
Back to basics with this simple analog alarm clock.
Photo
Sonic Alert SB300SS Sonic Boom Loud Vibrating Alarm Clock with Large Display
Product
Sonic Alert SB300SS Sonic Boom Loud Vibrating Alarm Clock with Large Display
Mini-Review
Basic alarm clock with bed shaker option for hard of hearing.

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 20:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

basic alarm clock sitting on a shelf

Why are Alarm Clocks Difficult to Use for Some Seniors and Elderly?

Sometimes, an alarm clock that a senior has used for many years suddenly becomes difficult to use. Of course, the alarm clock hasn't changed. The elderly person using it though probably has. There are several problems that may lead to the need for a more simple alarm clock.

Dementia or Alzheimers ​

Confusion from dementia or Alzheimer's disease may lead to an elderly person not understanding how to set the alarm on their alarm clock. The buttons and switches that they once could operate in the dark may no longer make sense. These seniors may need an easy to use alarm clock with simple controls and buttons.

Arthritis

Operating the small buttons of many alarm clocks is painful to swollen, inflamed arthritic joints. The force required to slide switches or hold down buttons is often too much for these elders. Large, easy to push buttons and controls on an alarm clock are less painful for arthritis suffers.

Failing Eyesight

Seniors with failing eyesight will have trouble reading the display of a standard alarm clock. Also, small writing on buttons is difficult for many seniors to read. Bold writing and displays with high contrast between the numbers and the background are needed here. These features are also important for seniors who wear watches.

Reduced Hearing

As many seniors age, hearing is often the first of the senses to fail. Those elders that wear hearing aids may not wear them at night. So, hearing an alarm can be difficult for these folk. They will need a louder than usual alarm or another alarm method like flashing lights or vibrations.

simple alarm clock next to a pair of glasses

Key Features to Look For 

​There are a few important features to look for when shopping for a simple alarm clock for elderly seniors. These features make the difference between an alarm clock being easy or difficult to use.

​Easy to Press Buttons

For simple use, the alarm clock buttons should be easy to press. They should not require much force to slide or press down to activate. Especially buttons that must be held down for setting alarms, etc. The snooze button should be large as well.

Easy to Set Alarm ​

It is very important that the steps needed to set an alarm are easy as well. Simple alarm clocks require minimal instruction. Avoid ones that require multiple buttons or long cycling through all the numbers to set an alarm.

​Easy to See Controls

Simple alarm clocks have buttons and controls that are easy to read. The writing is large and highly contrasted from the background. Each button's use is clear without the need for a instruction book. Also, it should be easy to tell if the clock or alarm is set for AM or PM.

simple alarm clock next to cup of coffee

Other Features to Consider

There are a few other features to consider when shopping for simple alarm clocks for elderly people. These options may not necessarily affect the ease of use of the alarm clock. But, they will make using the alarm clock a better experience for most seniors.

​Large Display

Like I said before, many seniors have trouble seeing small print and numbers. So, having an alarm clock with a large, bright display is easier to see. Look for a clock with a display that can be read easily from across a room.

Multiple Alarms​

Having multiple alarms throughout the day is very beneficial for many seniors and elders. In addition to getting up in the morning, alarms can be set for naps. Other uses for alarms are medicine reminders or even meal reminders for people with severe dementia.

Alternative Alarms​

Sometimes, just a loud alarm only is not the best choice. Seniors with severe hearing difficulty may require an alarm so loud that others in the house complain. There are other alarm methods like flashing lights and vibrating pads for waking up sleeping seniors.

​Date, Day of Week, and AM/PM Displays

Especially for seniors with confusion from dementia or Alzheimer's, alarm clocks that also display the date and the day of the week are helpful. Many of these seniors loose track of what day it is and the current date. Also, the best alarm clock for many seniors also makes it clear if it is day or night. This is done by making the AM / PM indicator easy to see or even using sun and moon icons.

Reviews of Simple Alarm Clocks for Elderly and Seniors

Day Clock - Extra Large Digital Alarm Clock

[Newest Version] Day Clock - Extra Large Impaired Vision Digital Clock with Battery Backup & 5 Alarm...

Key Features

This clock uses a menu system for settings and alarms. Minimal buttons to use. But may require experience with computer menus.

Other Features

The Day Clock has tons of extra features like date and day of the week. 5 alarms including medication reminders are included.

Price

Priced around $50, this is the highest priced clock I am reviewing but it also has the most features. 

The Day Clock by American Lifetime is not the easiest to use alarm clock. But, it has many other features that make up for it. Especially if the senior has someone available to help with the programming.

Easy to Read Screen

First, the screen is bright, clear and easy to read. The text is bold white print on a black background for high contrast between it and the screen. Also, the text is fully spelled out. There are no abbreviations for seniors who are easily confused.

Alarm Settings

Second, the clock has 5 different alarm settings including medication reminders. The screen will literally say "Time to Take Your Morning Medicine," "Time to Take Your Night Medicine," etc. The alarm will sound for 60 seconds unless a button on the back of the unit is pressed earlier.

Time of Day Settings

Next, for seniors who experience confusion with the time of day, the clock helps out here too. In addition to the actual time, the screen will read out the period of the day like, before dawn, morning, afternoon, evening, and night. So, when the user sees 5:00, they will know if it is 5:00 in the morning or the evening. No relying on a small AM/PM indicator.​

Easy to Maintain a Schedule

Once a schedule is set and programmed, this alarm clock is easy to maintain for the elderly. It runs on AC power (plugs into the wall) and has a battery backup so that the time does not need to be reset.

Drawbacks

The only real drawback is the process for setting the alarm. I even debated on whether or not to include this in my reviews. But, it is so helpful to those with confusion from dementia or Alzheimer's I decided to go ahead and leave it. The clock is programmed using a menu button and buttons that scroll up, down, left, and right to select option. It is pretty simple for anyone with electronic experience but some elderly people would not be able to program it themselves.

Finally, the clock does not automatically adjust for daylight savings time. But, a few simple button presses in the menu is all it takes for a manual adjustment.

  • Big, bold print 
  • Available in 9 colors
  • 5 programmable alarms including medication reminders
  • AC powered with battery backup
  • Includes date, day of week, and morning/evening indicator
  • Requires some experience with menu systems to program
  • Does not automatically adjust for daylight savings time

My Overall Rating:

[Newest Version] Day Clock - Extra Large Impaired Vision Digital Clock with Battery Backup & 5 Alarm...
  • ✔ KEY FEATURES - This unique 8" High Resolution Digital Alarm Clock clearly spells out the time,...
  • ✔ BATTERY BACKUP + UNIQUE FUNCTIONS - The Day Clock by American Lifetime is the only one of its...
  • ✔ WARRANTY - At American Lifetime we offer a 1-year Unlimited Warranty on all of our products. You...
  • ✔ MAKES FOR A PERFECT GIFT - The words Dementia, Alzheimer's and Memory Loss are intentionally...

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 20:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

HITO Atomic Bedside Desk Travel Alarm Clock Review

HITO Atomic Bedside Desk Travel Alarm Clock w/ Date, Temp, Week, Auto Night Light- Battery Operated

Key Features

This alarm clock covers all my basic features: it is  easy to operate, easy to see, and the alarm is easy to set. The buttons are right on the front of the unit too.

Other Features

I love that the clock sets itself automatically with the atomic clock. It also shows the date, day of the week, and temperature.

Price

Priced at less than $25.00, this clock is very affordable and even inexpensive for the features it has.

The Best Alarm Clock for Seniors?

OK, this is my favorite alarm clock for seniors who need an easy to use alarm clock that they can see. I think it is the perfect blend of features for most elderly people without a crazy price.

Easy to Use Controls

The first thing I love is the simplicity of the controls.  The controls and settings buttons are right on the front. Simple arrow buttons are used to set the actual alarm time. The screen is easy to read and even backlit by pressing the snooze button.

Time Sets Itself

The second great thing about this clock is that it sets itself. It automatically syncs the time with the atomic clock via a radio signal.​ This way the time is always right. Though, this features is only usable in the four time zones of the continental US.

Date, Day of Week, & Temp

Another awesome feature for seniors is that the date, the day of the week, and even the temperature of the room are displayed right on the front. When the alarm is on, the alarm time is displayed on the front. This is a great way to make sure the alarm time is correct.​

Potential Drawbacks

This clock runs on 2 AA batteries (not included!) with no option for AC power. So, batteries will have to be changed periodically.​ Seems that they last for about 2 months though so it is not too frequent.

The alarm starts soft and the beeps get louder and closer together the longer it sounds.  Also it shuts off after 1 minute. For elderly with hearing difficulties, the Sonic Alert alarm clock may be a better choice for this group.​

  • Controls are easy to see and use
  • Time set itself via atomic clock
  • Date, day of week, and even temperature are displayed
  • Alarm time is displayed when alarm is on
  • Uses AA batteries - no AC power option
  • Self -setting feature only good in continental US

My Overall Rating:

HITO Atomic Bedside Desk Travel Alarm Clock w/ Date, Temp, Week, Auto Night Light- Battery Operated
  • Radio-controlled automatic time and date update with Daylight Saving Time (DST). 4 US Time Zones...
  • Battery operated (not included). Clock size: 3.8" x3.2" x1.0"; Base depth: 1.3"
  • Jumbo big digit display; Display of Time (12/24 hr), Time Zone, Alarm, Alarm Status, Date (mm-dd),...
  • Alarm & Snooze function. Battery operated: two AA batteries needed.
  • Attractive Amber LED Backlight; Smart automatic dim night-light function

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 19:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Travelwey LED Digital Alarm Clock Review

LED Digital Alarm Clock - Outlet Powered, No Frills Simple Operation, Large Night Light, Alarm,...

Key Features

Controls and buttons are easy to use and understand. Simple one button operation more most functions.

Other Features

Not many extra features which adds to its simplicity. Includes a night light and alarm volume setting 

Price

At less than $20, this simple alarm clock is priced right for the features it offers.

This is the best simple alarm clock available for the money because it is easy to see, the alarm is loud, and the controls are easy to understand and use.

Easy Button Operation

Most functions are set with the touch of a single button or switch. For example, to set the current time or the alarm, just hold down the "time set" or "alarm set" button until the proper time shows on the display. The buttons are labeled well and positioned in easy to reach places.

Understand that this is a very basic alarm clock but that does add to it simplicity. There are only 2 buttons (alarm set and time set) and 3 switches (alarm on/off, dimmer on/off, volume lo/hi) on the back.

Easy to Read Display

The current time is easy to see on the screen with its big red bold display. AM/PM though is difficult to identify quickly though. So, keep this in mind for seniors who may get their days and nights mixed up.

Alarm Volume

Finally, the alarm has a high and low volume setting. The high setting is extremely loud and will wake up seniors who are heavy sleepers or have hearing difficulties. Of course, there is a snooze button for seniors who need 9 more minutes of sleep.

Summary

This alarm clock is a good choice for seniors who need an alarm clock they can see and hear better. It is also a good choice for seniors with arthritis who don't want to push a bunch of buttons. But, it may not be the best choice for seniors with confusion.​

  • Simple to use
  • Time is easy to read
  • Loud alarm
  • AC powered with battery backup
  • AM/PM display is minimal
  • Daylight Savings Time adjustment is manual

My Overall Rating:

LED Digital Alarm Clock - Outlet Powered, No Frills Simple Operation, Large Night Light, Alarm,...
  • EXTREMELY SIMPLE TO OPERATE - The clock has been designed with absolute simplicity in mind and you...
  • NIGHT LIGHT - Scared of the dark? Like to read in bed? No problem. The Travelwey Bedside Alarm Clock...
  • LOUD ALARM AND SNOOZE - The bedside alarm clock comes with an alarm which can be set at Low or High...
  • JUMBO ILLUMINATED LED DIGITS WITH DIMMABLE SLIDER - The red numbers on the clock are very clear with...
  • AC 120V ELECTRIC POWERED, WITH BATTERY BACK UP - To power the clock, just plug the power cord into a...

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 19:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Travelwey Analog Silent Alarm Clock Review

Alarm Clock (Upgraded) - Analog, Battery Operated, No Frills Simple Operation, Non Ticking, Snooze,...

Key Features

For simplicity, it doesn't get much easier than analog alarm clocks. No buttons to press or electronics to deal with!

Other Features

As expected, there aren't many extra features. But that may be exactly what you want on a basic alarm clock.

Price

Currently priced under $15.00, so the price is definitely right.

Truly Simple

Well, it doesn't get any more basic or simple than this analog alarm clock. The only switch on the entire unit is the alarm on/off switch. The only button is the snooze/light button on top.

​The alarm is set by turning the small hand on the dial to the time you want the alarm to go off. That's it.  No AM/PM to deal with either.

Senior-friendly Features

There are other features on this alarm clock that elderly and seniors are going to love. The numbers are larger than standard alarm clocks. Also, the alarm is very loud and doesn't shut off until it is turned off. These features make this alarm easy for seniors to see and hear. Even if they aren't wearing hearing aids.​

This alarm clock is a good choice for seniors who need an easy to set alarm that is loud. Good for those with hearing difficulties but can see pretty well and understand how to set the dial.

  • Simplest alarm clock I found
  • Easy to use with 1 button and 1 switch
  • Numbers are larger than average
  • Alarm is loud and rings until turned off
  • Very inexpensive
  • Requires carbon zinc batteries which are a little pricier than standard alkaline batteries

My Overall Rating:

Alarm Clock (Upgraded) - Analog, Battery Operated, No Frills Simple Operation, Non Ticking, Snooze,...
  • WHILST MOST ANALOG CLOCKS on the market make a constant ticking sound and have very cumbersome...
  • ALARM AND SNOOZE - The alarm is loud and rings until turned off. The snooze allows the alarm to ring...
  • LUMINOUS HANDS PLUS LIGHT ON DEMAND - If the analog clock is exposed to strong sunlight during the...
  • HARD PLASTIC CASING, BATTERY OPERATED - Don't worry if this clock is dropped. The hard plastic...
  • NEW TRAVEL LOCK - No need to remove the battery when travelling, the convenient travel lock ensures...

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 19:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sonic Alert Loud Vibrating Alarm Clock Review

Sonic Alert SB300SS Sonic Boom Loud Vibrating Alarm Clock with Large Display

Key Features

This alarm clock has the basic alarm clock functions. But setting the time and alarm requires multiple buttons.

Other Features

The included bed shaker and extra loud alarm are a great choice for seniors who are hard of hearing.

Price

Priced near $35.00, this alarm clock is in the middle of the pack as far as cost.

Multiple Ways to Wake Up

This is the best simple alarm clock for the hard of hearing. It uses multiple methods to wake heavy sleepers or seniors with difficulty hearing a standard alarm clock.

The alarm has 4 settings and is extra loud. Also, the clock comes with a bed shaker that is placed under the pillow or mattress. When the alarm sounds, the shaker vibrates the bed too. It can even be used with only the shaker if there are others in the house that the alarm is too loud for.

Large Display

The display is larger than most alarm clocks with a 1.8" display. Time is easily readable from the nightstand when in bed. But, reading it across the room could be difficult for some.

Drawbacks

It is a bit more difficult to set the alarm time on this clock than the others. There are tiny buttons on the back that have to be held down to set the time and the alarm time. This may be difficult for elderly with poor vision or severe arthritis. If the alarm time does not vary and the bed shaker is a benefit, someone else could set the alarm time. Then the user would just have to operate the alarm on/off switch.

  • Extra loud alarm
  • Bed shaker vibrates user awake
  • Large display
  • Setting the time and alarm time require multiple buttons and steps
  • AM /PM indicator difficult to see

My Overall Rating:

Sonic Alert SB300SS Sonic Boom Loud Vibrating Alarm Clock with Large Display
  • 113db extra-loud alarm with adjustable tone & volume control
  • Packaged with our most powerful 12 volt bed shaker
  • Equipped with 12/24 hour time capability
  • 5-level dimmer & test function to ensure your clock is setup properly
  • Battery backup to maintain the proper time in the event of a power outage

Last update on 2017-10-23 at 20:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion and Recommendations

There is more to consider when shopping for alarm clocks for seniors than you probably realized. It is important to find one that is easy to use and functional for elderly people. Seniors need to be able to read the display easily and, of course, hear the alarm when it sounds. Some elderly people need additional features like display of the day of the week or the date. The features needed depend on the difficulties the senior is having.

My recommendation is the Hito Atomic Alarm Clock as the best of the simple alarm clocks for elderly and seniors. It is easy to use and understand. For seniors who need more prompts and assistance, I like the Day Clock for dementia and Alzheimer's patients.

Tell me below about your experience with alarm clocks for seniors and the elderly. Do you have a different clock that you recommend? Please feel free to share your comment below. Questions are always welcome too!

About the Author Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.

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