A man in a coat on a cloudy autumn day

Supporting people with dementia when the clocks change

As the nights become longer it’s soon that time of year again when the clocks go back. Get prepared ahead of time for the change on Sunday 29 October.

The clocks change this autumn on Sunday 29 October and many people are getting ready to wind their clocks back to reflect this change in season.

While for the majority of people it can be a minor nuisance, the changing clocks can sometimes cause anxiety, confusion and distress in people living with dementia.

As winter mornings become darker, people with dementia may find it difficult to differentiate between 6am and 6pm, disrupting their biological clock and making it hard for them to get enough sleep.

3 tips to help people with dementia cope with the clocks changing


Having a routine during the day and at bedtime can help regulate a person’s disrupted body clock.

Doing regular activities at the same time each day – for example going for a walk after breakfast, can help a person with dementia make sense of the time. 

Outside time

Going outside in the morning can help set a person’s body clock, and may also help them feel tired enough to sleep at their usual time at night.

If the person is unable to go outside, the same effect might be created by ensuring there is lots of light in the home in the morning, or by sitting in front of a lightbox. 

Auto-setting clocks

We have a fantastic range of radio-controlled and auto-setting clocks and watches available in our shop.

Our clocks adjust automatically to the correct time, removing the necessity of resetting clocks and watches manually. This time saving and reassuring feature can be especially beneficial for people living with dementia.  

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