Product case study

Day Clock

A simple way for people with dementia to be able to find out the time of day

Where to order
Day Clock product

The Challenge

Back in the late 2000s, we were receiving more and more enquiries and requests for help to find a clock that could provide simple time orientation.

People were finding it difficult to find a clock product that displayed information that was easy for people living with dementia to understand. Products that already existed often carried confusing images or functions which was having a negative impact on families.

Most of us organise our lives around regular events that take place, e.g. going to the library ‘on a Tuesday morning’, so we wanted to make something that would reduce the confusion people were facing with regular, analogue clocks.

Suddenly reading that it’s “4 o’clock” is quite meaningless if you do not know what part of the day it is, i.e. 4:00am in the morning, or 4:00pm in the afternoon.

The Outcome

We are very proud to say that this design has gone on to benefit the lives of over 12,000 people worldwide.

This Day Clock was designed specifically for people who are finding it difficult to know what time of day it is. Those people found the existing date and time clocks confusing so we deliberately made it simple.

A sense of “now”, as stated on the Day Clock, is important to know where you are in the day or night.

We decided to use “Now it’s” to show that the display of the Day Clock was dynamic and would change over time. When we developed it, users told us that this wording was more useful than a simple picture showing the word “Monday afternoon” on its own.

During our research, we did consider generating a “how to” factsheet so that people could create their own Day Clock, but feedback from family carers stated that they did not want to have to do anything complicated. This led us to the need to design a ‘plug and play’ item that was easy to set-up and was reliable.

Similar clock and calendar product developers have adopted the phrasing ‘Now it’s’ and some of the features of the original Day Clock. It’s important to note that these products may not have gone through the same rigorous design and development process.

Our Design Process

Our team of engineers and an experienced occupational therapist worked with people living with dementia, their families and healthcare professionals to create a clock that fitted with their particular requirements.

The Day Clock was evaluated for ease of use and benefit over a four week period with more than 120 people living with dementia. Feedback showed that the Day Clock helped with time orientation and was able to reduce anxiety, increase independence and reduce dependence on a carer.

The overwhelming majority stated that the most important feature was that it clearly and simply displayed the day and part of day.

The feedback that we received during the development process suggested that display of the exact date and time was unnecessary and could be potentially confusing.

We chose the wording ‘Now it’s’ in response to a strong understanding that people living with dementia experience:

  • Lack of awareness of day and time of day
  • Disorientation following sleep during the day
  • Night time disorientation.

We have worked closely with our commercial partner, DF Sales, to develop a reliable product that meets the needs of users. We also worked with them to ensure that the Day Clock would be available in seven languages to promote accessibility to people living outside of the UK.

Benefits and Features

  • Clear and simple display of the day and part of day
  • Plug and play straight from the box
  • Secure button sequencing to minimise accidental interference
  • Keeps track of the correct time when not plugged into mains electricity
  • Maintenance free usage
  • Optional corner lights for ease of use at night
  • 12 months warranty

Where to order

The Day Clock is available from these online stores