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Telling the time


Registered User
Sep 6, 2020
I am guessing that it is normal for Alzheimer's suffers to have great difficulty in telling the time.my wife finds it very difficult if not impossible.she insists we need new clocks as they all tell the wrong time.she also starts to get ready to go out hours before we need to go. I have tried various ways to get her to delay things but she still wanders round getting things ready.then close to the time to go she will decide she has the wrong clothing on.


Registered User
Apr 4, 2018
Hi @slim-jim my OH does that, gets ready then paces, so if we happen to go out, I just don’t tell him until I’m ready to go. I also find that if I don’t tell him what to wear, then that just causes more confusion for him.


Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
My mother could still tell the time by a her analogue clock, but couldn't actually act on the information it told her. So she knew it was 11 0'clock in the morning and that her keep fit class was at 2 0'clock in the afternoon. She'd want to leave the house to go to the class even though it was only ten minutes walk away. If I wasn't there to distract her until the correct time, she'd trot off to her class far too early and wonder why no one was there.
In the end I never told mum about things that were happening until it was time to get going.
Yet another thing that dementia throws at you, I hope you manage to distract your wife @slim-jim , and don't feel you have to buy new clocks. I got mum a talking clock (she also has very poor eyesight), that you just had to press for it to tell you the time. Mum hid it because she felt I was treating her like a child.


Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
High Peak
Yes, it's normal! The body clock gets broken quite early with some people and it produces a range of problems in addition to the ones you've mentioned. The worst is probably when the person can no longer tell night from day which may cause night wandering/sleepless nights. I think poor memory makes it worse because the days all blur together.

My mum would ask why I'd come to visit her in the middle of the night even though we were sitting outside in the afternoon sunshine.


Registered User
Jan 5, 2021
That is exactly what has happened to my wife. A while ago she started being confused telling the time, but now has no idea of day and night. It's why I'm awake now, after two hours of coaxing her to go back to bed as she was convinced it was daytime. It's happening more often and is very tiring.