How Long To Lunch?: Alzheimers Sufferer Asks

By:  Frank Engelman   |  Posted: July 8, 2022   |  Updated: April 18, 2023

Problem Description


A reader has described this problem.

I’m desperate to find an Alexa app for my uncle who suffers from Alzheimers. He not only has the issue of am/pm confusion, but he is very concerned about missing a meal.

He lives in a retirement community and has set meal times and various opportunities for interaction. I set up routines, reminders, and use the calendar. But he wants to know how much longer until the next activity.


This is different than asking “When is lunch?” or even having timed spoken reminders of an upcoming event

Since the most popular request to Alexa from seniors is “Alexa, what TIME is it?”, it seems they are asking for the TIME as they are planning getting ready for the “next event”

If your loved one has dementia, they may ask Alexa many times a day:

“Alexa, when is lunch?” and “Alexa, what time is it?”

What they really want to know is “How long until lunch?”

I’m thinking that the next most popular request for those with dementia to Alexa could become “Alexa, how long until lunch?” or “Alexa, how long until my appointment?”


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