Last updated: January 27, 2016 15:55

What is the Ward Orientation Clock?

The Ward Orientation Clock unit can be mounted onto a wall and attached to a display monitor to show the time of day in different formats. It provides a constant and reassuring source of information on time and place and is designed to help people who suffer from dementia. The unit can be configured to show a slideshow of stunning high-resolution pictures in up to two sessions every day.

  • Traditional clock face
  • Digital time, AM or PM, day of the week & date
  • Now it's (day of the week) (time of day i.e. morning, afternoon, evening, night)

At regular intervals it also displays a customised screen to show the place name. For example "Royal United Hospital, Bath".

In addition to this there is a feature to display a slowly changing slide show of seasonal pictures for a set time at two specific times of day (e.g. visiting times).

Who is it for?

The Ward Orientation Clock is designed for communal settings like hospital wards, day rooms, nursing homes etc. The Ward Orientation Clock was developed in close association with Combe Ward (Older persons Unit) at the Royal United Hospital Bath and is primarily aimed at reassuring people who are confused, out of their usual routine or who have dementia.

The Ward Orientation Clock supports patient orientation in time and place i.e. knowing when it is and where they are.

Why is it needed?

Research by the King's Fund demonstrates that good design can help with the management of dementia. People with dementia are less likely to get confused or become distressed within an environment designed with their needs in mind. It is a government aim to encourage hospitals and care homes to create more dementia friendly environments by creating calming surroundings to help avoid confusion. Day and night clocks are recognised as being helpful. The Ward Orientation clock was developed by BIME, the same team who developed the Day Clock. The Day Clock was a finalist in the 2012 National Dementia Care Awards Product category and is now selling in large numbers.

What are the key benefits?

  • Large screen with large text creates more impact than standard size day/date clocks and is more visible to everyone within the environment
  • The presentation of time information in different formats is comprehensive and helpful to people who have variable levels of cognition
  • It identifies day and night which is beneficial in 24 hour environments like hospitals and nursing homes
  • The screen assists staff by answering and reinforcing questions like where am I? What time is it? These are questions that are frequently and repeatedly asked.
  • The seasonal slideshows are visual clues as to time of year, they provide an enjoyable pictorial view of the outside that is often not available and can encourage conversation
  • The Ward Orientation Clock contributes to reassuring people who are confused and vulnerable and provides them with a reference for important context information.
  • Orientation information is automatically up to date, no staff input is needed (unlike more basic calendar signage boards) Basic information is shown in multiple formats in an inclusive way.
  • Everyone including people with dementia can access it.


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