Confusion over time of day

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by KDK, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. KDK

    KDK Registered User

    Jun 20, 2016
    My mum has started to get very confused about the time of day.
    I also think she may be having two days in one sometimes, I think she is getting up quite early at the moment due to the long days and is then falling asleep in the afternoon, sometimes going to bed for a nap then getting up around 7pm and thinking it is 7am.
    Is this common?

  2. BeardyD

    BeardyD Registered User

    Jan 19, 2016
    It was one of my wife's first symptoms. She wouldn't know whether it was time to get up or go to bed and was often surprised by meal times. On one occasion she phoned her sister at 4am which caused a panic. A dementia clock helps a little but it took some time before she would believe what it was telling her.

    As far as the long days goes it might be worth trying blackout curtains.
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Yup, both mum and MIL did this.
    If MIL fell asleep during the day it was as if it re-set her day and she was convinced that it was morning. She once asked me the time when she woke up and, having been told it was half past three, was convinced that it was 3.30 in the morning - despite there being full day-light and the children could be seen coming home from school! She could not be convinced and I didnt know much about dementia then.
  4. WORRIER123

    WORRIER123 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2015
    My dad cannot fathom the time. He has a watch a bedside clock a carriage clock and clock on bottom of tv all saying the same time but he thinks they all show different times and won't believe me when I say they are all the same.
    He also cannot work out the times of programmes in a tv mag and wants to watch a programme on at 8pm at 10am
    Some nights, not all, he will go to bed at say 9pm then wake at 10pm thinking its time to get up even though it's pitch black outside
    I have tried all sorts of different clocks but nothing helps so hopefully someone out there can think of something.
  5. MrCanuck

    MrCanuck Registered User

    Jun 9, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    My mom has lost the ability to understand clocks and calendars within the last 6 months or so. She has both an anologue clock and a digital clock. The Digital one lists AM/PM as well as date and day but it's a lost cause now, as she can read the numbers but has no ability to understand what they mean, in terms of time. As for the analogue clock we used to have to go through the "little hand points to the hour and the big hand points to the minutes" talk, but I think she just ignores that clock now.

    She also cannot understand a calendar anymore. Each visit we cross off past days and I mark off when I'll be in next to visit. I can see she is trying so hard to understand that calendar but it just makes no sense to her. She'll ask "What's this?" and point to weeks that have already gone by.

    She accuses the CH of "adding in days", saying once they had 2 Thursdays in a row. One time she told me that they never know when they will be fed because tonight they didn't get their meal until 7:00pm (it was only 6:00pm at that time and she had eaten at 5:00pm).

    The CH has clocks and "TODAY IS... " posters in multiple places, but almost all the residents struggle so hard with time, its so sad to watch. Not only can they no longer understand clocks/calendars, but they don't even realize that they USED to be able to understand them.
  6. Harrys daughter

    Harrys daughter Registered User

    Jul 12, 2016
    We have this with dad he will ask at 3am what time is it you say 3am and even tho its black dark he will say in the afternoon? It's so sad
  7. WORRIER123

    WORRIER123 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2015
    It's been so bad today I could scream
    Up at 3 banging on my door saying all the clocks are wrong
    Now he's asking me to change them all cos they are wrong
    He can't read the date or day even though it's written down
    I am at my wits end
  8. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    You must be exhausted, WORRIER123, there is a reason why sleep deprivation was used as a torture technique! :(

    When Mum had her dementia assessment, she was asked to draw a clock and then add in the hands pointing to 5.10 That was when I realised that she is having problems telling the time and that the phonecalls saying 'when are you coming' are about more (or less?) than simply what time it is!
  9. WORRIER123

    WORRIER123 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2015
    Dad has the tests and failed all the clock ones
    There is no solution
    He's just asked me again to set his watch to the right time
    I said what time can u see
    I am about to throw my work lap top at the wall today I am so knotted up
  10. abz2005

    abz2005 Registered User

    Aug 11, 2016
    My dads the same, he'll have a nap in the afternoon get up around 4pm and think it's the following day, it actually happened today I set up a nice bath for him he sat in it for half hour or so then went to his room for a nap, he got up saying he wants to go out so just as we're going out he says will you run me another bath like you did yesterday I told him it was this morning but I could tell he wasn't convinced.

    He's also done it in the middle of the night when he's got up around 2-3am thinking it's morning got dressed and ready to go out.

    I spoke to his doctor a while ago about it he prescribed sleeping pills which I gave him for a few nights but they had the complete opposite effect, whatever sleep he was getting prior to the tablets he wasn't getting any at all with the tablets he was like a machine so I stopped giving him the tablets.

    Another thing he does is go to the toilet in the night repeatedly, I don't mean once an hour or so I mean he'll go to the bathroom be in the for upto 1 hour sometimes, go back to his room then go straight back to the bathroom for another 10 minutes or so and do that repeatedly.
  11. Worthitprincess

    Worthitprincess Registered User

    Aug 11, 2016
    My mum is the same. Constantly unaware of time and what day it is. She will be awake at 3-4am in the morning thinking it is 8am. She doesn't sleep well and sight bad so cannot see a normal clock, so completely understand your post about no sense of time.

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  12. WORRIER123

    WORRIER123 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2015
    I'm still looking for the ideal clock. Surely there must be one.
    Up at 3am last night as dad broke the lamp. He was obsessed with the lead and no idea what happened
    Grrrr broken sleep = grumpy me
  13. JohnBG

    JohnBG Registered User

    Apr 20, 2016
    Lancashire UK
    Dementia clock.

    You can buy a clock with the day date, time plus night day morning or afternoon, plenty on offer it may help, hope you get some sleep.

  14. Moorcroft

    Moorcroft Registered User

    Nov 4, 2015
    My sister-in-law's mother used to ring my brother up in the middle of the night, thinking it was daytime. When he pointed out what time it was, e.g. 4 am, she used to say "Well, it may be that time in your part of Kent!'.
  15. JohnBG

    JohnBG Registered User

    Apr 20, 2016
    Lancashire UK

    ^^^ Kent is such a beautiful place it may well be on an alternative time zone.


    John Tht.

    My mother phoned me up to tell me she was hanging up......bless her.
  16. Peirre

    Peirre Registered User

    Aug 26, 2015
    If you speak to the LA assessment / adult services people they may proving one FOC, this is what they did in the case of my dad. They also provided a big button telephone, and a pivotel nomad FOC
  17. JohnBG

    JohnBG Registered User

    Apr 20, 2016
    Lancashire UK

    Thanks for that we pay for most things so in that knowledge FOC tends not to be something we seem eligible, great information.

  18. Goingitalone

    Goingitalone Registered User

    Feb 11, 2010
    We had a problem with mil getting up in the night and thinking it was day. She would sit there with the tv blaring all night, wondering why we hadn't been in to feed her!

    In the end I devised some cards which I printed and laminated saying, "go back to bed, mum. It's night time. I will be there in the morning to make breakfast"

    These cards are left in various places around the house at bedtime. So far they have worked!

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