BEHAVIOURAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS IN THE CASE OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: LOSING TRACK OF TIME
Eventually many if not all people with dementia will lose track of time.
This can lead to many difficulties for relatives and carers. A sufferer may
well forget when he or she last ate, when bedtime is, accuse you of having
been away for hours when in fact you have only been absent for a few
minutes, and so on. It can be very difficult to cope with, especially if you
need to go out and leave him or her alone.
Sometimes drawing a clock-face with the time for lunch or some other activity represented by the position of the hands is helpful. This will only work, however, if the sufferer has the ability to compare the diagram with the time displayed on a clock. It is probably better to have a simple clock with a large face. In many ways a digital clock may seem easier, but in my experience the old-fashioned type is superior for people with dementia.
An old-fashioned egg-timer-type hour-glass may be a useful device. It needs to be fairly robust, but you can tell the sufferer that you will be back, that lunch will happen, or that the programme on television will start when the sand has all gone from the top to the bottom.