Spring Research Symposium
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Program information

Scheduled presenters


How many medications is too many?  Strategies for safely deprescribing medications in older adults
Lalitha Raman-Wilms, PharmD.
Dean, College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba


Comparative Studies of Spatial Cognition: What can birds tell us about aging?
Debbie Kelly, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Comparative Cognition, Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Manitoba

Improving care in long-term care: What can we learn from current research in our province?
Moderator: Genevieve Thompson, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Manitoba
Christina Lengyel, PhD, RD, Associate Professor, Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba
Deanne O’Rourke, R.N., M.N., GNC(C), PhD(c), College of Nursing, University of Manitoba
Kerstin Stieber Roger, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba


The development and pilot evaluation of an information decision-aid for late-life depression
Kristin Reynolds, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Manitoba


In the news today: exploring newspaper coverage of violence and aggression in older adults
Laura Funk, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology, Faculty of Arts, University of Manitoba


Dr. Laura Funk’s presentation examined the ways in which violence and aggression among older adults is framed in print and online articles. Her study involved an analysis of 126 Canadian media sources on the topic of violence or aggressive behaviour among older adults.

The presentation highlighted some of the ways in which violence is sensationalized, and the stigma associated with aging, dementia and nursing homes is reinforced. She discussed how the biomedical model of dementia is a lens through which aggressive behaviour is interpreted, which may simultaneously absolve and dehumanize people with dementia. While most of the articles focused on personal care homes and hospitals, very few discussed violence in assisted living or family settings.

What have we learned from sharing dance with people living with dementia and carers?
Rachel Herron, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Rural and Remote Mental Health; Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Faculty of Sciences, Brandon University

Hanging in the balance: Neuromechanics and the quest to reduce falls risk among older adults
Jonathan Singer, PhD
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management

Dr. Singer presented on the importance of balance control. Balance is essential for every activity and can be a major determinant of quality of life. For some people, loss of balance can be catastrophic. In older adults, sideways loss of balance can lead to hip fractures. People aged 65 and older tend to have more falls, which can lead to many negative outcomes, including a risk of death.

Dr. Singer talked about the importance of proactive control and reactive control in preventing falls. A fall based on a proactive control occurs when there is a motor error in the selection of muscle properties. A reactive control fall occurs when there is a sensory error. During a fall, the reactive phase in older adults may be delayed, which can cause a lateral step (sideways). This is a marker of instability. According to Dr. Singer, it all comes down to reactive control to keep from falling, as it is used to help re-stabilize.

Older adults are such a heterogeneous group, it can be hard to find an intervention program that will work for everyone. Interventions should be tailored to each person based on their specific sensory or motor challenges.




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