1. Bristolbelle

    Bristolbelle Registered User

    Aug 18, 2006
    My son is studying a Diploma in Performing Arts and today his lecturer suggested that bad posture is linked to dementia in older age. My Mum is very recently diagnosed and we are all still at a very sensitive point as a result. I really can't believe this to be true at all, and my lad got very emotional about it and walked out of the lecture.
    Before I challenge the lecturer I want to be sure myself there is no link, can anyone help?

  2. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    I've certainly never heard that one before!
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    There are some "junk science" reports speculating that there is a connection, but it is just speculation, and I would suggest without any scientifc foundation. The basic idea goes that poor posture leads to chronic stress which thus leads to strain on the upper spine which leads to nerve/blood vessel damage.

    If I were you I would approach it from the other end - speak to the lecturer and say you were fascinated to hear that there was a connection and ask him/her to provide you with sources so that you could look into it yourself. If he says it just something he's been told say "Oh I wondered, because I can't find any scientifc evidence to support it - so it's just speculation on your part?" It might make him think twice about opening his mouth.

  4. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    When I look at dear Lionel leaning sideways and backwards at the same time, I would say that dementia could lead to bad posture.
  5. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    don't know anything about bad posture causing dementia ........ but i think there's probably a link the other way round ......... that is, people with dementia often have bad posture. you sure that's not what the lecturer meant???

    i can't remember whether it's on this forum, or on the lewy body one that there was a thread about listing to the left! or right! my dad certainly leaned way over in one direction ....... more when sitting than walking, and his head tended to drop to one side. there was some thought that this might have been due to a minor stroke that he'd had.
  6. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    sorry connie, cross posted
  7. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    I Think This Is Possible.my Husband Had Very Bad Posture Due To His Work Which Involved Him Carrying Havy Bodys Of Beef (meat Trade)now He Suffered Neck And Head Pain , Test Showed He Had Worn Vertebra,in The Neck,, In The Early Days Of His Diognosis ,damage Was Seen At The Back Of His Brain, And Wrongly Seen As Stroke , Then Later After Scans We Were Told Not Strokes But ,ad , Now I Know These Problems With The Neck Could Have Caused Lack Of Oxygen To The Brain ,that Would Result In Dementia,
  8. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Aine
    I think that Dementia causes bad posture.
    My wife now walks very badly,bends forwards,takes tiny little steps and cannot walk unaided unless the is something available to hold onto.
    I believe the bending is due to looking down at the floor for the steps and holes that she sees,and of course are not there at all.
    This depends on the type of floor covering,black Welsh tiles at one Sons house cause problems,as do dividers in between capets.
    The fact that her focus is also affected also does not help.
    I think the lecturer has the statement the wrong way round
  9. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    I agree totally with that interpretation. The lecturer has his notes back to front.
  10. mocha

    mocha Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Lancs, England
    quote: This depends on the type of floor covering,black Welsh tiles at one Sons house cause problems,as do dividers in between capets.

    I agree with what Norman says about the floor covering. In the 80's I worked 11 yrs in a care home and used to smile when I saw two of the old ladies lift their Zimmer Frames when they crossed the carpet dividers and also lifted their feet as though it was a step.

    Little did I know that my Hubby who used to be the life and soul of the parties they held because he would get the ladies up to dance-would one day be in a Nursing Home himself.

    Ah Me; What goes around comes around.
  11. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Sound like the lectures, needs a lecture on how to talk to young people, taking into Consideration people feeling when talking about sensitive statements of disease illness, some people are so ignorant, to much education and no knowledge or understanding in what they are taking about on the issue of dementia
  12. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Hi Bristolbelle.... the lecturer is qualified in what exactly to come out with those sort of comments to the students he is influencing? If it were a lecture in psychiatry/medicine etc I think there would be a difference....... (confess my first knee-jerk thoughts was that was a threatening and even bullying teaching method whether any of the students were affected by dementia in their families or not.....)

    Of course you are (all) sensitive ..... and as a mum no doubt you are trying to cushion all the emotional impact for your son as well ...... the fact he became so emotional (seems like a bad thing) shows how much he cares.... (good thing)

    Diploma level? He is how old? Is it HIS wish that YOU challenge the lecturer ... ? If so, fine.... do it, and show him the support he obviously needs ..... or is this an opportunity (if he and you have time before the next tutorial with same lecturer) for him to gather his thoughts .... (printing off this thread may help!) and deal with this on an adult-to-adult basis for himself ... may help him to gain some confidence in dealing with the whole situation himself???

    Just a thought ... know it's tough ... let us know how you and he (and the lecturer!) get on ....

    Love, Karen, x

    (PM on way)
  13. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    I am trying to imagine my parents challenging any of my lecturers.

    To suggest that there is a link isn't to say which causes which.

    I think that what we see as bad posture in the elderly is often caused by osteoporosis, I wonder whether those who have osteoporosis are also more likely to have dementia?

    Also there seems to be a tendency for people with dementia to mimic the symptoms of other illnesses or disabilities.

    (When my mother was going through phases of hunching herself up and shuffling, it did sometimes seem that she was putting it on. Her younger sister (who was a physiotherapist and worked with elderly people for many years) persuaded her to walk upright and take bigger strides. It worked for a few days after each of those visits.)


  14. Bristolbelle

    Bristolbelle Registered User

    Aug 18, 2006
    Thank you all

    I'm totally astounded by the response to this thread and I am sure both he and I will feel the lovely support given and that alone will strengthen us.
    I can understand the potential link between bad posture and lower brain stem damage, particularly as my daughter has mild spina bifida anyway and this was something pointed out to us when she was being diagnosed many years ago.
    My son actually feels a bit better having slept in it for a night and has decided to tell his lecturer why he left the lecture himself and explain that he is feeling sensitive about disability. He himself suffers chronic pain and was in a wheelchair for several months with no way of knowing whether he would ever walk again so he is very sensitive to suggestion about disability and cause and effect anyway.
    He is quite a diplomat and I feel that we did have a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, and that this will best be left for him to sort out himself if he can, after all if and when he gets to uni I won't be two steps behind him all the time.
    Oh and apparently I got the qualification wrong he's actually doing the BTEC National Cert in Performing Arts which LEADS to the Diploma.
    Once again thanks for all the support

  15. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #15 Margarita, Jan 5, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2007
    yes our physiotherapist use to persuaded my mother to walk like that and if my daughter and I our out with my mother we both had to hold her Between us and tell her to take big steps and she did. The worry that the physiotherapist use to put me under with telling me that if my mother does not keep trying to walk, her leg muscle will waste away was so stress full for me . Trying to get my mother to be upright and take bigger strides, lift her feet up as she walks.

    When really its all part of dementia I am learning now , as now 1 year on and my mother is also doe this

    I have a friend who has a bad back spinal problems since she was 40 , she 62 now she needs a walking add and she always lean forward on it , that now she can not walk straight stand up straight , I see no sigh of dementia in her . Just a bad habit of leaning forward while she walks , she could learn to to walk in a different way if she wanted to listen to the physiotherapist, my mother can not learn a different way because of her Dementia she just forget and get confused , and who can blame her with what is happening in her brain .
  16. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi everyone,

    let's return to the original post that said
    None of us - including Bristolbelle - was there when the lecturer said what he said.

    We all know that people often filter conversations in a way that the person talking never realised would be done. When we are sensitive about something, we can be over-sensitive sometimes.

    If we look at the quote above again, it could mean several things:

    1. when someone gets dementia, their posture may become bad [frankly, the most likely interpretation, and one most would agree with]
    2. bad posture may lead to dementia
    3. something that bad posture influences may have an effect on us later in life [I'm struggling for a third interpretation here]

    On re-visiting the original post, actually, I can't find anything wrong with it.

    We're all just sensitive here, understandably, but I don't think it does any harm to give people the benefit of doubt, especially when we were not there to hear what was said, and in what context.
  17. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Mums, eh? :rolleyes:

    Thanks for posting that - so pleased your son feels better today! :)

    Well done, both of you,

    Love, Karen
  18. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    I certainly identify with the majority position that the lecturer has got it the wrong way round.

    You musn't assume that all the words uttered by teachers are to be respected. During my brief career as a teacher, Mary (pre AD) always referred to my colleagues as "educated idiots". How perceptive!

  19. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Dick

    Speaking as an 'educated idiot', allow me to say that there are a lot of 'uneducated idiots' in the profession these days!
  20. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    Cheeky solution to moronic comments

    When I first read this post, as you were referring to your son's 'Performing Arts' lecturer, I assumed you meant that the lecturer was lecturing on performing, and therefore pointing out that if one is required to act as if they are a person suffering dementia then they should consider taking on bad posture as part of the role.

    This completely makes sense to me as, as many have noted here dementia does quite often lead to bad posture (not the other way around as far as I am aware)...I don't know what I would do if it wasn't for pillows to prop Dad up when he is sitting...at least these days he doesn't lean so badly when walking like he used to!

    As it turns out it sound like the lecturer was just lecturing in general on topics he is does not claim to be qualified in. Perhaps someone needs to lecture him about sensitivity, but I do have to say that there are so many out there, including doctors who have no sensitivity and no real knowledge of this disease (i have had doctors tell me that the disease is hereditary, is never hereditary, that you can't get it unless you are old, etc, etc) that perhaps it is best to just print out a set of cards with different phrases on them, ready to hand out to folks saying things like:

    "Until you've lived it, you'll never really know what this disease is like."
    "If you are interested in this disease I can tell you what I know about it. Ask me questions, I want people to know."
    "Although it is good to be able to joke in the face of adversity, if you are not the one facing the adversity and you're joking about it, its going to go down like a lead balloon."
    "Telling someone you know why their loved one is suffering or others like them are, when none of the doctors or scientists that have seen them and studied them can for sure, comes across as insulting, arrogant and insensitive and just a little bit stupid."
    "Your trivialising of this disease is not appreciated, while I am losing a person I love to it in ways that are so horrible you can't even begin to imagine them."
    "Sometimes keeping your mouth shut is the smartest thing to do. - Sincerely Alzheimer's sufferer's family member."

    Can you imagine such a deck of cards. Keeping them in your purse or wallet and just pulling them out and handing them over to the offender at appropriate moments!!

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