Personally, I think it’s a shame that seniors and elderly even need to use alarm clocks. But, it is a reality many working seniors face. More and more senior citizens continue to work well into their golden years. So, unfortunately, an alarm clock may still be needed. This means that simple alarm clocks for the elderly and seniors are becoming very important. Other features like loud alarms are needed on an alarm clock for the hard of hearing.
Of course, not every older person needs a special alarm clock. The bedside alarm clock they have used for years may still be ok. But, often seniors develop hearing difficulties and vision problems before any other medical problems. Later, confusion and dementia may be a factor. So, these seniors may need to look for an easy alarm clock that assists them better in their daily living. So, to help these folks and their caregivers, I’ve created this detailed guide to alarm clocks for the elderly and seniors along with a few recommendations for the ones I like best.
Comparisons: Easy Alarm Clocks for Seniors and the Elderly
In a hurry? Here is a quick comparison chart of my recommended alarm clocks for seniors and the elderly. I have recommendations for simple, easy to use alarm clocks as well as extra loud alarm clocks for hard of hearing and seniors with vision problems. Keep on reading for the details.
The Need for Easy to Use Alarm Clocks for Elderly and Seniors
Sometimes, an alarm clock that a senior has used for many years becomes difficult to use. This can happen over years or even quite suddenly. Of course, the alarm clock hasn’t changed. The elderly person using it though probably has. There are several physical medical problems that may lead to the need for a more simple, easy to use 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 with ease may now no longer make sense. These seniors may need an easy alarm clock with simple controls and buttons. Easy to set alarm clocks are also necessary because many of these seniors are confused easily. The buttons should be clearly marked and easy to understand.
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. So, for seniors with arthritis, look for alarm clocks with big buttons that are soft and easy to press. Avoid alarm clocks with lots of switches.
Need for Alarm Clocks for the Hard of Hearing or Poor Vision
For most seniors, these senses are the first signs of aging. eyesight is just not what it was. So, glasses become a necessity. Next, the hearing starts to fail. So, the TV gets louder until hearing aids are needed. There are several alarm clocks to help with these aging problems too.
Seniors with failing eyesight will have trouble reading the display of many standard analog alarm clocks. Also, small writing on buttons is difficult for many seniors to read. Look for an alarm clock big, bold numbers on the displays. The displays should also have high contrast between the numbers and the background. Alarm clocks with LED screens are a good idea for these seniors. The bright, colorful displays are often easy to see – especially in the dark. These features are also important for seniors who wear watches.
As many seniors age, hearing is often the first of the senses to fail. Hearing aids become a necessity as the hearing loss worsens. But, did you know that often seniors are told NOT to sleep in their hearing aids? This can make an alarm clock difficult to hear for them. many are unable to hear a standard alarm clock bell or buzzer. Alarm clocks for the hard of hearing will need a louder buzzer than standard analog alarm clocks. Other options to loud alarm clocks for hard of hearing are alarms with flashing lights or even vibrating pads that go under the pillow.
Buying Guide: Alarm Clocks for Seniors and the Elderly
For those who prefer to shop on their own for the best simple alarm clock for their situation, here is my alarm clock buying guide. These are the features I recommend and that I think you should look for. Some features are key to seniors being able to use the alarm clock while others are optional and more for convenience.
Key Features of Easy Alarm Clocks
There are a few important features to look for when shopping for a simple alarm clock for elderly seniors. Finding the right combination of these features will make the difference between an alarm clock being simple 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. This is especially true for buttons that must be held down for setting alarms, etc. Avoid those tiny little pinhead buttons that have to be held down continually. The snooze button should be large as well.
Easy to Set Alarm Clock
It is also very important that the steps needed to set an alarm are easy as well. This is a big deal for seniors who still live on their own and set their own alarms. An easy to set alarm clock should require minimal instructions. Setting the alarm should be easy to figure out just by looking. 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 clearly indicated in large print without the need for an instruction book. Also, it should be easy to tell if the clock or alarm is set for AM or PM at a quick glance.
Extra Loud Alarm Clocks or Alternative Alarm Clocks for the Hard of Hearing
For the seniors with hearing problems, look for an extra loud alarm clock. An alarm clock that allows you to vary the volume is even better. That way, the volume can be increased as the hearing loss progresses. Seniors tend to hear the blaring “beep, beep” alarms better. Low, buzzer style alarms may not be a frequency they can hear well.
Sometimes, though, just having an alarm clock that is loud is not the best choice. There are other choices besides loud alarm clocks for the hard of hearing. Seniors with severe hearing difficulty may require an alarm so loud that others in the house complain about it. Their hearing loss may mean they can not hear the frequencies of a high pitched alarm. low rumbling tones are difficult for them to hear also. For these situations, there are other alarm methods like flashing lights and vibrating pads for waking up sleeping seniors.
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. Many of these features are for the convenience of the users. But, they will make using the alarm clock a better experience for most seniors.
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. Especially in the dark. The bigger the display, the bigger the numbers are usually.
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.
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 lose track of what day it is and the current date. The best alarm clock for 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. I have an entire article on these day clocks with electronic calendars here if you are interested.
Reviews of the Best Alarm Clocks for Seniors
Here are some of my recommendations for the best alarm clock for seniors and elderly. You’ll find extra loud alarm clocks for the hard of hearing, simple alarm clocks with only basic features, and easy to use alarm clocks.
American Lifetime [Newest Version] Day Clock
7 used from $ 34.95
The Day Clock by American Lifetime is not the easiest to use if you just need a standard 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. I recommend this alarm clock for dementia patients and Alzheimers because it also helps them keep track of the day of the week and the current date.
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.
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.
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 a very helpful alarm clock for dementia patients or Alzheimer’s so 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 the 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.
What I Like:
- 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
What I Don’t Like:
- Requires some experience with menu systems to program
- Does not automatically adjust for daylight savings time
You can learn more about day clocks and electronic calendar clocks in this post.
hito 3.8" Digital Battery Atomic Alarm Clock
1 used from $ 19.99
OK, this is my favorite alarm clock for seniors who need a simple alarm clock that is also easy to see. I think it is the perfect blend of features for most elderly people without a crazy price. Below are some of the most useful features for seniors especially.
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.
So overall, this seems like the best simple alarm clock for seniors. However, there are some potential problems with this model.
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.
What I Like:
- 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
What I Don’t Like:
- Uses AA batteries – no AC power option
- Self -setting feature only good in the continental US
Travelwey Home LED Digital Alarm Clock
$19.97 in stock
3 used from $ 18.57
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.
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.
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.
What I Like:
- Simple to use
- Time is easy to read
- Extra loud alarm
- AC powered with battery backup
What I Don’t Like:
- AM/PM display is minimal
- Daylight Savings Time adjustment is manual
Travel Alarm Clock
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.
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.
What I Like:
- 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
What I Don’t Like:
- Requires carbon zinc batteries which are a little pricier than standard alkaline batteries
Sonic Alert SB300SS Sonic Boom Loud Vibrating Alarm Clock
8 used from $ 24.77
This is the simply the best alarm clock for hard of hearing seniors. 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.
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.
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.
What I Like:
- Extra loud alarm clock
- Bed shaker vibrates user awake
- Large display
What I Don’t Like:
- Setting the time and alarm time require multiple buttons and steps
- AM /PM indicator difficult to see
BONUS Best Clock Radio for Seniors
DreamSky Decent Alarm Clock Radio
$24.99 in stock
3 used from $ 23.24
If you’d like an alarm clock that also has a radio built in, this DreamSky alarm clock radio has everything you’d need at an affordable price. For seniors, I especially like its large, bright display. It measures about 4 inches across and the clock is by far the largest feature on the display, along with a temperature display and a reminder for when your alarm is set. It has 3 brightness settings as well to adjust to your ideal viewing level. This is very useful at night when you wouldn’t want something incredibly bright lighting up your whole room.
High Contrast Print
Another great feature of this alarm clock is the high contrast buttons. This makes them easy to see and use for an older person who may not have great eyesight or coordination. The print on the LCD screen is also high contrast, but easy on the eyes with a nice electric blue color. Many people who find the typical red light a little harsh will find this blue alternative much easier to see, especially at night.
What I Like:
- USB charging port
- Digital FM Radio with Sleep Timer
- Adjustable Alarm Sound and Snooze
What I Don’t Like:
- No FM preset function
- Sound quality isn’t as great as it could be
Conclusion and Recommendations
There is so much more to consider when shopping for easy 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 in a simple alarm clock depend on the difficulties the senior is having.
My recommendation for the best simple alarm clock is the Hito Atomic Alarm Clock as the best of the simple alarm clocks for elderly and seniors. If the senior is sleeping through their alarms, I think the Sonic Alert is the best alarm clock for hard of hearing seniors. easy to use and understand. For seniors who need more prompts and assistance, I like the Day Clock for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.These are all available at Amazon and other retailers.
Don’t forget to look at clocks for the rest of the home too. Here is my guide to easy to see clocks for seniors if you want to check that out too.
Tell me below about your experience with alarm clocks for seniors and the elderly. Do you have a different clock that you recommend? Feel free to share your comment below. Questions are always welcome too! If you found this guide helpful, please share it with friends and family on your favorite social network!