Dementia and time perception difficulties

Image of an elder man looking at a wall calendar

Dementia is associated with a decline in memory and cognitive function, affecting language, reasoning, judgement and behaviour, this may be why for those living with dementia, the concept of time can be challenging.

What happens to those with dementia and time perception difficulties?

For those with dementia, the temporal lobes of the brain play a crucial role in processing and organising sequential information. These brain regions can stop working or become damaged, leading to disruptions in time perception. It may become difficult for those with time perception difficulties to follow a schedule or estimate how long an activity will take.

During the more advanced stages of dementia, your loved one may experience difficulties in understanding the passage of time. Their sense of past, present and future can also become inconsistent. Actions associated with this, which you may notice include going to bed in the daytime, insisting they have spoken to a deceased friend, forgetting to eat, or going out in winter without a coat.

A loved one struggling with dementia and time perception can become frustrated, angry, anxious or even aggressive. If you ask someone with dementia why they did something in a certain order may make the situation more challenging. For example, saying, “why didn’t you fill the kettle before you switched it on?”, may result in an argument. A better approach could be to simply turn on the tap and help your loved one with the next step. Read our blog for further practical advice on how to support a loved one with dementia and time perception difficulties.

About Bright Care

If you need specialist dementia care for your loved one, Bright Care can help. We offer companionship style care services for those with dementia, so they can continue living comfortably and safely within their own home.

Our dementia trained Carers can offer support with:


  • Consistent companionship (reading the newspaper, playing games, taking exercise)
  • Support with outings (grocery food shopping, hospital appointments, walks)
  • Help around the house (laundry, vacuuming, dusting)
  • Home-based activities (cooking, baking, gardening)
  • Support at social events (family gatherings, clubs, religious services)
  • Personal hygiene (assistance with washing and getting dressed)
  • Health and well-being (support with medications and exercise)
  • Personal administration (help with forms, letters, paying bills)

Our dementia care is designed to help our clients to remain in their own home for as long as possible. With our regulated care and companionship, your elderly loved one can continue to thrive in their later years. 

Please contact our team on 0330 024 1327 or complete our contact form to explore how we can help with caring for your loved one.