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What is Sequencing?

Today’s insight discusses sequencing. Understanding this will help you to learn how to simplify your requests of your loved one with dementia.

Transcription of Video:

Hi I am Deb Nygaard with Arthur’s Residential Care with today’s Insight From Arthur’s.

Today I want to talk about sequencing. Sequencing is something that is performed by our frontal lobe part of the executive functioning in the brain. Sequencing is how you put steps of different things together; as the brain is degenerating we lose some of this ability.

So just as an example let’s talk about asking your dad to get up out of a chair. You might say, “Dad, it is time to get up. Can you get up?” and he doesn’t move, maybe he has lost the ability to sequence. Now think about all the steps involved in getting out of a chair and how you would cue your father to do each one individually. You might tell your dad, “Dad, it’s time to get up. Can you lean forward a bit? Put your hands down on the chair. Now lift up your bottom and scoot forward. Good job, now get your feet underneath the chair a little bit. Get them behind you, there you go. Now you’re going to lean forward and push with your legs and push with your hands. Here we go one, two, and three. Get a foot in front of you.” You don’t want them to fall forward either.

There are a lot of tiny steps in helping your father break them into small steps. It is actually respectful. You’re helping him to succeed; it’s not a childish thing to ask him when he is at that stage.

Another thing you might have to do as your loved one progresses with dementia, is that chewing and swallowing can be another sequencing event that is hard to figure out. So you might have to break things down into tiny steps.  Like chew your food, move your jaw up and down, use your tongue to push the food to the side, chew it up. Now swallow, push the food back to the back of your mouth, now swallow. All of those steps are going to help your loved one succeed.

I’m Deb Nygaard with Arthur’s Residential Care.

Contact Deb Nygaard
Director of Development
Arthur’s Residential Care:  651-429-4798