to buy a clock with day/date or not

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by hollycat, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. hollycat

    hollycat Registered User

    Nov 20, 2011
    Generally mum has a good half day and bad half day at the moment. On a bad day she doesnt know what day it is. I have seen a brilliant clock with day/date, similar to type used in banks. I have shown her the clock on good and bad days :

    Good day - she wants to keep her independance and doesnt need or want one

    a different good day - yes i want one what a good idea

    Bad day - she doesnt know what day it is and what am i talking about I dont have a problem

    She is a mixture of IN DENIAL, VERY CONFUSED AND FIGHTING to keep her independance.

    Should I buy her a clock ??????

    On a good day she tells me that she is quite happy for me to TELL HER what day it is. Whilst I dont mind I am trying to RESPECT her wishes i.e. she wants to remain independant.

    I am really strugling to strike a balance and hope to use your replies to this clock example in other matters that I may face in the months/years to come.
  2. Tess810home

    Tess810home Registered User

    Jan 11, 2011
    Hi, I understand your struggle. I tried similar some time ago. For whatever reason, mum would still ask me what day it was and I started by pointing to the day shown - eventually I came to realise that I had wasted my money...

    (a) She forgets we have the clock
    (b) She forgets where the clock is
    (c) She really would rather ask and be told than to look

    I have come to understand that mum's confusion is such that with all that's going on in her brain at the moment, trying to make sense of so much, it's easier for her to ask, rather than add another thing to her bow of troubles.

    Also, there is often no reason why she asks what day it is and sometimes I believe it is purely for something to say, to illicit a response that she can process for a short time makes her feel better. i.e she says "what day is it today?", I say "Tuesday". Short easy and concise answer to a question, she understands and is happy. I don't ask her why she is asking - keep it simple.

    As for your mum, try the clock by all means, but the underlying issues and responses kind of evidence how this illness affects many sufferers in my view.

  3. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    Hello Hollycat

    I'd be inclined just to introduce things (like the clock) that you consider beneficial, but would avoid asking her to make a decision about whether she wants it or not, as decision-making is something she will find hard and will get anxious about most days.

    We were advised to put up a whiteboard in the kitchen, on which you could jot down reminders - you could even tell Mum that these are to remind YOU about things, not her :D You could always write the day of the week up there every day.

    That way, she can refer to it if she's able/wants to. If she doesn't, don't say it's on the board/on the clock. That won't make her independent, it'll stress her out. Just tell her the day, whenever she asks, and move on.

    Have you seen this thread?

    It's sound advice.
  4. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    I researched getting a clock similar to the one you describe for MIL and decided against it. She would have been furious if we put a large modern looking clock on her wall. She has lots of clocks around her house but they have to be small and decorative. She likes to carry one about with her. We bought a small clock that has the date on it which, in theory, she can have on her living room trolley table so she can check the TV listings for the right date. Or she can have it with her when she answers the telephone and writes in her diary. Haven't seen it recently, so it's probably got put away. Most innovations get put away - they are seen as a threat "That's not mine, I don't remember buying it."

    Speaking personally, I know that MIL cannot co-ordinate the concepts of time, day and date simultaneously. She really struggles with writing in her desk diary because of this. Generally she can grasp two out of three. For example: "My appointment is on 30th November - and that is this coming Wednesday. So what time is my appointment? OK, so that's 10 o'clock on Friday. No? 10 o'clock on Wednesday? So what date is that? The 6th December? What time is the appointment?" And so on.... :rolleyes: We now write the appointment in the diary for her in advance, remind her the day before, and arrive in good time to collect her because 50% of the time she's still forgotten.

    However, well done MIL, you do manage to remember and achieve being dressed and ready far more often than I think I would if it were me. It must take a tremendous amount of concentration and persistence when short term memory is so poor. I think I'd be like the people on Dr. Who who write notes to themselves on their bodies so when 'The Silence' aliens wipe their memories they still know that something has happened. :D
  5. Scraggedbloke

    Scraggedbloke Registered User

    Jun 11, 2011
    Skegness Lincs

    Go ahead and buy the clock, I did early days with Annie I use it ALL the time, to check what DAY it is.

    I remember buying was a small shop in Boston it was on the wall behind his head ...............I think it was HIS clock cos he could not find the box for it. Just pleased to get a sale.

    I also bought one of those calendars where you pull off a day at a time.

    Good Luck

  6. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    That's a really interesting observation. If she'd moved into your home, you could do whatever you liked but I can see that introducing new or helpful aids/systems/routines into her house could be difficult. Even if she 'agreed' one day, chances are she might react against it the next.
  7. Keely

    Keely Registered User

    Aug 6, 2007
    I bought a clock that anounced the day and time because mum is also blind. I also set it to announce on the hour and I think it did help keep her orientated but she is past that stage now. What I tended to do with mum is buy her things as presents and at times I used her own money as she was spending next to nothing on herself. Mum would also often accept things if they were from grandchildren - Basically the aim was for her to feel loved re the gifts rather than me as a daughter as she use to say "dictating what she should have" !!!!!!! Its not easy when our mums are trying so hard to hold on but just can't. Mum got so use to her talking clock she used all the time. The other thing I found was getting things in place before she desperately needed them as there was time then for mum to learn to use it - if I got something that bit too late she just could not remember they were there.
  8. rajahh

    rajahh Registered User

    Aug 29, 2008
    I bought my husband a watch with date and time, but at end of each month it has to be altered depending on how many days in the month there are. This caused great confusion, much mumbling and trying to read the instructions on how to do it. He would not let me do it, and of course he never took it off exceept to go to bed and kept it by his bed.

    In the end he broke it. So now he has an ordinary watch. Of course we still have the problem when the clocks change but he managed that this time so we shall see.

  9. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    My Mum is blind so a conventional clock or calendar is no use to her.... she has both!! :DHer pill girls tell her the day and date...she forgets.:D She rings me many times, she forgets.:D I can be sitting there and she will ask the date, 5 or 6 times in 30 minutes...she still forgets. :DThe doctors and tests say she is mild to's a bloody good job they don't take my blood pressure.:D:rolleyes::D:rolleyes::D:rolleyes:
  10. I purchased a very large digital clock, time, day month and year

    I also go a sheet of window darkening film to tame the brightness.

    It is large and easy to read. Not a desk top item. But it is a big help to my wife and to me (seldom asks for day anymore)
  11. nmintueo

    nmintueo Registered User

    Jun 28, 2011
    #11 nmintueo, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
    Clock with time, day and full date?

    I got excited when I saw that you had a clock with time, day month and year, because that's what I want, but pretty much all I can find are clocks with time, day, month and temperature - no year. It drives me crazy.

    But when I followed the link, I thought "but where's the year?" -

    I'd love a clock like this wall clock, if only they would ditch the extraneous temperature-and-humidity clutter and give us the year instead:
    • Radio-controlled, so you don't have to adjust it for accuracy or daylight saving.
    • Solar powered, so you don't have to replace batteries.
    • No buttons to push on the front.
    • But NO YEAR, dammit!

    Same issue with this solar powered radio controlled alarm clock. At least it lets you have Day/Month rather than Month/Day. On the other hand, the description suggests you get 12-hour time, no 24-hour option - an odd design choice:

    caring fromafar and diablo suggested these ones:
    Both radio-controlled, with day and month the right way round, neither with the year. One with three-letter day, the other with two-letter day, plus temperature, plus phase of the moon.

    Similar clock, found by linsue, currently [Dec 2012] only £8.99 from LIDL:

    carpe diem found a clear low-price display with just time and 3-letter day:
    Time and Day Clock for £10.10p!!

    A nice design from Karlsson: no nonsense, reasonably clear display, but no year. Expensive, too:

    This is a nice clear display of all the information, though no particular logic to the layout of the elements. I wondered how loud the flip-over display is - this poster says it's quiet enough, but found that his father tended to read the big four-digit number at the top as being the time rather than the year; that seems a natural assumption to me. He disabled the year display to fix that problem:

    Or if you happen to be going to Australia, there's this:

    Discussion at refers to which has some nice products, including the identical item with a wooden bezel:

    and this radio-controlled digital one:
    which looks like a pretty clear design to me (large - the size of an A3 sheet of paper - and expensive).

    If you like an analog clock, this desk or wall-mounted clock has a very clear display:
    Still, no year, and not radio controlled, so you'll have to adjust it when the clocks change.

    Same problem with watches. My mum knows she has trouble keeping track of the date, and she looks carefully at her watch to check - and gets it right.

    Try finding a watch with a reasonably uncluttered display and the full date? The watch industry has decided we don't want that.

    These aren't too bad, although - perhaps inevitably - you only find a full date display on a multifunction watch, so one button press and you're off in some other mode like stopwatch or alarm setting or time in some other city, offering maximum opportunity for confusion:
    (This one lets also you choose European date format (DD MM YYYY).)

    ... but I think it's high time the industry took advantage of the design possibilities with modern displays. Right now, as far as I can see, there's only funny-looking fashion items and this clear but insanely expensive Seiko:

    [​IMG](and still no year!)

    Simple watch with just time and day:

    To my mind, this radio has a better clock-calendar display than most clock calendars:
    ... with an unambiguous display that's as hard to misinterpret as possible, and almost no other visual clutter.

    See also this blog:
    Review: Day clocks for people living with dementia
  12. nmintueo

    nmintueo Registered User

    Jun 28, 2011
    #12 nmintueo, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
    Watch with date

    I got our mum a radio-controlled watch; it automatically updates from a radio time signal every night, so it's always accurate and never needs to be adjusted.

    Works perfectly for us. Of course, if someone were to push buttons and try to adjust things manually, it would always be possible to mess things up.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Another poster also uses a radio-controlled watch, among many interesting ideas.
  13. Scraggedbloke

    Scraggedbloke Registered User

    Jun 11, 2011
    Skegness Lincs

    The one I bought was a wall clock It did not have the Year on it.

    But I printed the year onto a sticker in simiular font, and stuck it on.

  14. carrie99

    carrie99 Registered User

    Apr 26, 2009

    I still struggle with clocks - no matter how hard I try I still struggle to read a clock!
    We have a clear clock but actually, you know, it is very difficult to read a clock!!!
    (even a child can do it)
  15. nmintueo

    nmintueo Registered User

    Jun 28, 2011
    #15 nmintueo, Dec 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
    All rather depends on the person and the situation. As someone suggested, you could just get a clock without asking her to make the decision - and maybe without drawing attention to the fact that you got it to show the day.

    A possible way around it would be to get a digital photo frame, if it's something she might like, that just happens to have a calendar function. Examples (not terribly good ones):

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] has a product that uses a photo frame just as a simplified clock/calendar:

    The same item's available from a few places, including (at a higher price), which also has this:
    Clear design; quite expensive. It doesn't say it's radio-controlled, which is a pity.

    Found same thing cheaper,
    or see
    (they also have big, pricey, institution-targeted versions:

    See also:
    Dementia Day Clock modified for a diary

    Creating a Day Clock using a Digital Photo Frame

    Day night clock

    online calendars?

    Another clock displaying time as 'morning', 'evening', etc, and one just with the date (no year):
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  16. hollycat

    hollycat Registered User

    Nov 20, 2011
    Update on the clock


    Many thanks for all your informative contributions to this post.

    We have decided for now to try the £3 or £4 option, a calendar that you rip off each day which shows very clearly DAY DATE MONTH.

    THE FUNNY also has an inspirational quote of the day in very small font/typeface on the bottom of each day !

    So, not only is it of use for mum, its cheap and gives us a cheery quote each day.


    Thanks again to all who contributed. What on earth did we do before TP

    If anyone is looking for one, it came from a famous online auction site.

    FOR THE MODS - it is perhaps something the alz shop could stock
  17. nmintueo

    nmintueo Registered User

    Jun 28, 2011
    #17 nmintueo, Mar 13, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
    Worked for a while, but after a few months:

    It rather depends what problem one is trying to solve.

    If the person needs or wants to know what day it is, can still manage the concept of time and date, and can read the time and date OK, a clock that presents that information might meet the need.

    A manual calendar requires additional skills, since the user has to remember to update it every day, and remember whether they've already done it that day. Many people won't be able to do that, even though they may still retain a good concept of time and date.
  18. hollycat

    hollycat Registered User

    Nov 20, 2011


    Initially the rip off calander worked. However, we think the alzheimers seems to have got such a hold on her, that the calander I am afraid is as much use as a chocolate fire guard today. However......

    Another possible cause of the ripoff calander not working today, is the fact that mum has 2 live in carers (OH and I) so perhaps she has become reliant on us ? We have made every effort to try and keep mums routine as routine as we can i.e. she still does the washing up, she cleans etc. As we bought and supplied the calander, perhaps she thinks it is "ours" and our responsibility ? We had this problem with food i.e. when we do a shop, we buy quite a lot of fruit. Mum, for a time stopped eating fruit, why ?

    She also thinks its wonderful that we have invited her to stay in our house (no, we are staying in her house).


    We bought a £3 or £4 rip-off/tear-off calander and our problem WAS SORTED.

  19. nmintueo

    nmintueo Registered User

    Jun 28, 2011
    Thanks for the followup, I think that's valuable. It reminds me of something similar aitch7918 said today -

    I guess whatever we do, it'll only help for a while.
  20. Flick

    Flick Registered User

    Feb 25, 2011
    South Wales
    It's so interesting to see that there are so many different types of calendar clocks. I was recently looking for something for my father and could only find very small one or those containing lots of information on display, which I thought would be confusing. In the end I purchased a large square, flip clock with calendar, date and year which change automatically. It's been really good - big enough to hang on wall and visible from all parts of the room. I hung it underneath his existing clock, so everytime he glances up to look at time (his clock has been there for years so he still remembers that) he also sees the day and date. He found the year confusing though, kept reading it at 8:20 pm (ie. 2012) but I found that it was possible to removed the numbers - they neatly store inside. It's not very noisy when it flips over. I'm very pleased with it and he seems to have accepted it without question - I told him a friend of mine was throwing it out - he loves a bargain! It was actually quite expensive - almost £60 but it does the job I wanted it to do, so I think it was worth it.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.