“In the News Today”
What news media coverage of aggression in older adults can teach us about how we think about aging, dementia, and aging populations.

Thursday, October 17, 2019
10 AM Pacific time / 1 PM Eastern Time




Some older adults with cognitive impairment can respond to circumstances in ways that have been labelled responsive or reactive; care partners and workers who struggle with the effects of these actions can experience them as aggressive or violent. In this presentation, Dr. Funk and Dr. Herron present findings from their study of how mainstream Canadian news media frames the issue of aggression in older adults. They will identify the tension between the goal of drawing attention to the seriousness of the problem and to the needs of unpaid and paid caregivers and workers, and avoiding contributing to fears and stigma related to aging, dementia, and aging populations.

Through discussion, attendees will also be encouraged contemplate how they themselves write, talk about, and understand aggression in older adults, to reflect on broader implications, and to consider practical reframing strategies.

This webinar will be of interest to audiences who communicate or teach about aggression in older adults, and both professional and family care providers who have experience dealing with this issue in their work.


laurafunk sept2019Laura M. Funk – Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology, University of Manitoba
Dr. Funk advances social and critical gerontology through examining how older adults, and both paid and unpaid carers, make sense of experiences, preserve valued identities, and negotiate normative ideals and emotions.
She is recognized for exploring how these processes engage broader discourses surrounding age, care and responsibility. Funk has held numerous Tri-Council and other national grants, and contributed to international research collaborations, frequently engaging policy-makers and care practitioners. In 2012 she led the Manitoba Caregiver uofm logoConsultations, and later this month will receive a recognition award for excellence in research on unpaid caregiving, from the Canadian Association on Gerontology. She can be contacted at  and is on Twitter @LauraFunkUoM


herron close up 2017Dr. Rachel Herron is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environment at Brandon University and a Canada Research Chair in Rural and Remote Mental Health. Her current research examines the vulnerability and complexity of care relationships, social inclusion and meaningful engagement for people living with dementia, and the diversity of lived experiences of rural mental health. Dr. Herron is the founding Director of the Centre for Critical Studies of Rural Mental Health where she works with other researchers, professionals, students and community partners to develop community-based solutions to rural mental health needs. Ultimately, Dr. Herron’s work seeks to create more supportive environments for aging, mental health, and caregiving. Contact: