Solution: Time of Day for Dementia Patient - Alexa Skill

By: Frank Engelman.  Updated: October 15, 2020.


The Problem: What Time Is It? Dementia Confusion

My Dad is now in a nursing home, and he can't tell the difference between 4 AM and 4 PM when looking at a clock. When he asks his Voice Assistant, and it says, "It's 4 AM", he thinks it said "4 PM," and he better get dressed for dinner!.... More about the Problem


Solution: Time of Day for Dementia Patient - Alexa Skill

I have created a (free) Alexa skill called "My Clock" that is designed to help people with dementia who suffer from time "confusion". And also to help caregivers who get exhausted from answering repeated questions about "what time is it"?

My Clock provides a context-aware, personalized time-of-day greeting on a big screen display. It greets your loved one by name and understands the sleep schedule that you have set up for them.


Here is a Video Showing My Clock in Action


Setting up the My Clock Alexa Skill




About this Alexa Skill

Here are a few examples of the display your loved one would see on an Echo Show.

Alexa skill screens: time clock skill


You can either setup this Alexa Skill when at your loved one’s home using their Amazon Echo device OR from your own mobile device with the Alexa app, logged into your loved one’s Alexa account.

The latter method allows you to change the settings for them remotely. Just say "Alexa, ask my clock for help" and follow the on-screen prompts as shown in the video below.


How to Get This My Clock Skill

This Alexa skill can be downloaded to Amazon Echo devices without a screen (Echo Dot) or those with a screen (Echo Show) or even a Fire TV. My Clock is free.



Trigger My Clock from Motion or a Button

You will note that you can even trigger My Clock from a motion sensor or an Echo Button in an Alexa Routine in the video below.


Here are some sample Alexa Routines that you could modify to point at your Echo device. The links below go to routines on the Alexa section of the Amazon website.

Note: To use these links you need to click on them from the mobile device that has your Alexa app installed.





More Like This

This is part of a series of "Problems" and DIY Technology "Solutions" to the challenges faced by older adults, by Frank Engelman. 



Discuss this solution


from Stacey (unverified) at July 13, 2021

That is amazing! Thank you for creating it. ☺️


from Dave (unverified) at August 30, 2021

Hi, I’ve been looking for a skill like this for my father. Thank you for creating it. Have you considered adding a day/date feature? This would answer another common question at his house and make this an even better replacement for one of those stand alone dementia/memory loss screens. Thanks again.


from faengelm (member) at September 01, 2021

Hello Dave,
I hope this will prove useful for your father.

My aunt uses it in her bedside Echo to judge whether she should get up or stay sleeping without putting on her glasses to see the clock.

I have a bathroom Echo automatically speak how much time I have left to sleep on my nocturnal visits to the bathroom triggered by a motion detector.

I like your idea of adding a day/date display similar to a dementia clock.


from faengelm (member) at August 03, 2022

Hello Dave,

I recently updated the My Clock Skill to include Day/Date and all English Language locales...  (US), (UK), (CA), (AU), (IN) 


from faengelm (member) at September 02, 2021

Dave, Would you like to see "day/date" added as part of the current "My Clock" display or were you looking for a "full-time day-date" display like current dementia/memory loss clocks.


from Winnie (unverified) at December 02, 2021

This is really great. I keep hoping that one of these smart devices will make it so the home screen can be set to look like one of the "dementia clocks" they sell on Amazon. We swear by those in our family. While it started with an older family member, now we all swear by them. With so much screen real estate on those devices, it would be great to have that option. I am certainly going to keep your app in mind, should I get a smart screen of some sort. Right now we have all sorts of echos but I haven't found any real reason to get a video one yet. If they would make the dementia clock screen available I would buy a few. If anyone I know, or know of, who suffers from dementia and also has a smart screen device, I will surely tell them about your wonderful app. Thank you!


from faengelm (member) at December 03, 2021

Hello Winnie,

I use an Alexa Skill (“Screensaver”) as a Dementia Clock, but like most Alexa Skills, it won’t auto-restart if you ask Alexa to do something that involves changing the screen such as playing music.

As a workaround, I have a button to ask it to display again as well as a complex timer Routine to auto-enable it.

Regarding a reason to get an Echo Device with a screen, I’d like to suggest Alexa Video Calling and Drop-In for checking on a loved one.


from Rowan I (unverified) at May 08, 2022

Followed directions and link but get the message Skill no longer exists. Any ideas as it woujd be great for family.


from faengelm (member) at May 09, 2022

Hello Rowan,

The My Clock Skill that I wrote is still available, but the Dementia Clock Skill from another developer appears to have been removed.

I can’t find a similar Skill, but you could try these suggestions to make a less complex Echo Show display.

Swipe down on the Echo Show Screen

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Clock and Photo Display
  • Tap Minimal

Swipe down on the Echo Show Screen

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Home Content
    • Uncheck everything

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Target customers & users: 
Aging individuals, Family of the aging
How important is it?: 
Moderate problem
Key words: