Help for people with dementia to tell the time

Being able to tell the time is a skill we often take for granted in our everyday lives. It’s something we do so often that it’s become a habit ingrained within us.

Depending on what time our watch or clock is telling us, we know it’s time to get up or time for lunch or even time for dinner or bed, but for a person with dementia, telling the time is a skill that often deteriorates and can be lost completely, leading to confusion and disorientation.

For someone with dementia, the parts of their brain that are usually used for telling the time can stop functioning as well as they did and they might begin looking at their clock or watch and not being able to remember what time the hands are pointing to. They might also become confused about day and night and believe that 7am in the morning is 7pm at night.

Depending on what stage of dementia a person has, there are special clocks that can help a person with telling the time correctly again.

Day and night clocks 

A day and night clock shows a person living with dementia what the time is and has sun and moon illustrations to show them if it’s day or night time.

Day clock 

A day clock is good for helping a person with dementia with their routine. This one tells you what day it is and whether it is morning, afternoon, evening or night.

Talking watches/clocks 

A talking clock can announce the time for a person who also has sight problems alongside their dementia. This watch has a large LCD display, shows the time and speaks it as well. It is designed with optional hourly announcements as well as alarms to set as medication reminders.