Can Someone with Alzheimer’s dementia tell time
Before Mom’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis she lived alone and called me first thing every morning to ask what day it was. Actually, she sometimes called 5 or 6 times in the morning to learn the day, date and time.
After awhile, it became a real nuisance. I knew mom had a large, colorful Cukoo Clock that crowed way too loudly every hour for 24 times a day. Now, that was a real nuisance. I couldn’t imagine why that didn’t catch her attention for day / date/ time. Why didn’t she turn to check that darn crowing clock.
As I look back now, I can hardly believe that I was so annoyed because she couldn’t remember to take her medication every day! In hindsight, if she couldn’t remember what day it was or what year it was or even what time it was, how could she possibly remember whether she’d taken her pills for that day?
The person with Alzheimer’s not only forgets to look at the Calendar, but often forgets how to read a calendar or the round face on a clock with hands. They lose their “sense of time” in general and the hands on a clock are totally useless.
Mom would suppose that the 6th day of the month on the calendar referred to the 6th month of the year. If it was the 10th of January, Mom would point to the 10 on the calendar and ask, “So it’s October now?” Numbers, Dates, Calendars all caused colossal confusion for Mom. A standard calendar became useless.
It was easier for Mom to call me and ask the day, date and time every morning!
The problem with that solution was that Mom would quickly forget she had called–then call again and again and again throughout the morning. The bigger problem was that Mom was too confused and embarrassed by the situation to tell me that she could no longer read a calendar or clock or watch.
Once I understood that she could no longer use a calendar or read the hands on a clock, all of our confusing conversations about day, date and time finally made sense. Regrettably, this didn’t occur until Mom finally came to live with us. Mom gets a Watch that can Really Tell Time!
Since some of you have the same issue with your loved one, I’ve had many requests for digital calendars and clocks and watches without hands.
Below are a few other posts and articles about this same issue with Day, Date, Time and Calendars– and how I finally discovered that my Mom could no longer use a wrist watch with hands.
Related Posts about Alzheimer’s and Dementia and “telling time”:
- Can Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients tell time
- The clock test- a sign of Alzheimer’s diagnosis
- Can Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients read a calendar
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