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What to look for?

Disorientation to Time | Common Signs

  • Cannot recall the date or day of week without a visual aid (e.g. marked on calendar)
  • Cannot use a calendar or visual aid to discern the date or track events
  • Cannot recall days but knows associated tasks (e.g. knows it's garbage day but doesn't know that garbage day is Friday)
  • Has difficulty judging the passing of time (e.g. thinks hours have passed in minutes)
  • Gets ready for events or appointments too early or on the wrong day
  • Refers to past events, places or people in the present tense
  • Thinks something that just happened took place a long time ago
  • Confuses night and day (e.g. awake all night, asleep all day)
  • Does not know the season or the year
  • Does not know or cannot properly calculate his/her own age
Disorientation to Time | General Description

An inability to remember times and dates can be frustrating for a person with Alzheimer's and can reduce their ability to function. Both time and date are abstract ideas. They can be difficult for the person you care for to comprehend or to recall.

They may not know the day of the week or month and may rely on calendars or aids to keep track of appointments and special occasions. The person you care for may begin to refer to past events, places and people in the present tense or think something that just happened actually took place a long time ago. For example, they could mix up living relatives with those who are deceased. They also may have difficulty judging the passage of time and they may lose orientation for day and night.

Unlike Alzheimer's disease , people with Frontotemporal dementia exhibit little memory disturbances in the early stage. They remain oriented to time and place and recall information about the present and past well into their disease.

The first step in taking a more active role in symptom management is understanding how a symptom is affecting everyday life; the next step is communicating this knowledge to those involved. SymptomGuideTM is designed with these goals in mind.

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See Also:
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Delusions and Paranoia
Symptom Library > Thinking & Judgment > Judgment
Symptom Library > Everyday Activities > Sleep Disturbances
About Dementia > Treatments for Dementia > Exercise
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Last updated January 15, 2019
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