Sharon Koehn

Sharon Koehn
Simon Fraser University · Department of Gerontology

20.68
 · 
PhD

About

93
Publications
9,161
Reads
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430
Citations
Introduction
I am a senior lecturer in the Department of Gerontology and Principal of Sharon Koehn Research Consulting. See also: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/sharon-koehn-6a432334, https://www.sfu.ca/gerontology/about/people/sharon-koehn.html, http://centreforhealthyaging.ca/whatsnew_archive.html.
Research Experience
January 2012 - present
Simon Fraser University
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Sessional instructor (1997-2000): Soc/Anth, SFU & Coquitlam College Ltd. term lecturer (2012-present): Gerontology, SFU
February 2009 - present
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • Clinical Assistant Professor
Description
  • This appointment is secondary to and concurrent with my position at Simon Fraser University.
May 2005 - August 2017
Providence Health Care
Position
  • Research Associate
Description
  • Formerly with Centre for Healthy Aging at Providence (CHAP).
Education
January 1993 - August 1999
University of Victoria
Field of study
  • Interdisciplinary studies-sociology, anthropology, psychology, gerontology

Publications

Publications (93)
Book
Full-text available
Recent immigrant older adults and some visible minorities who have aged here—to whom we refer collectively as ethnic or ethnocultural minority older adults (EMOA)—both experience health inequities in Canada. These are primarily related to difficulties with the complex process of accessing suitable services and supports. However, Canadian research o...
Article
The 'Pathways to Diagnosis' study captured the experience of the prediagnosis period of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias through indepth interviews with 29 persons with dementia and 34 of their family caregivers across four sites: anglophones in Calgary, francophones in Ottawa, Chinese-Canadians in Greater Vancouver and Indo-Canadians in T...
Chapter
Full-text available
Reuniting immigrant families has been considered an important goal in Canadian policy (Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC), 2006). When an elderly relative is sponsored under the Family Class immigration category, the sponsor makes an unconditional undertaking of support for a period of ten years to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Thi...
Article
Full-text available
This paper uses an intersectionality theoretical lens to interrogate selected findings of a scoping review of published and grey literature on the health and health care access of ethnocultural minority older adults. Our focus was on Canada and countries with similar immigrant populations and health care systems. Approximately 3300 source documents...
Article
Full-text available
The ‘Barriers to Access to Care for Ethnic Minority Seniors’ (BACEMS) study in Vancouver, British Columbia, found that immigrant families torn between changing values and the economic realities that accompany immigration cannot always provide optimal care for their elders. Ethnic minority seniors further identified language barriers, immigration st...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Participants in the Caregiving, Family, and Homecare forum identified complex and mutually reinforcing barriers to the health and social care needed by immigrant older adults. While it is true that many immigrants feel that care should be provided to older adults within the familial context this tends to place additional pressure on women in these...
Article
Full-text available
This opinion piece offers insights gained from a sociohistorical perspective on death and dying that inform our understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic and societal responses to it. It is published as follows: Koehn, S. (2020). Learning about the importance of caring in life through death: Pandemic insights. GRC News, COVID-19 Special Issue: Risk,...
Presentation
Full-text available
Provides two case studies from the Lived Experiences of Aging Immigrants project to illustrate how older immigrants experience social isolation and loneliness as part of their migration trajectory. It also highlights underlying structural issues and strategies that can help build social connections and a sense of belonging.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Prepared by: Emily Lonsdale (with Sharon Koehn) for The Lived Experiences Vancouver Research Team In December 2018, a diverse group of 25 Metro Vancouver stakeholders attended a Disability, Housing, and Transportation Forum hosted by the Vancouver Lived Experiences research team. A photovoice exhibit entitled The Lived Experience of Aging Immigrant...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The goal of this literature review is to understand intersectional discrimination and its effects on older Canadians, with a specific focus on the diverse experiences of ageism across multiple intersections of marginality. The Government of Canada is especially interested in identifying interventions that can address the effects of such discriminat...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Ageism is a widespread source of discrimination in Canadian society. It occurs at the individual level as stereotyped attitudes about old age that influence our expectations of ourselves and others. Sometimes these attitudes inform behaviour and result in discrimination against others on the basis of their age. Institutional ageism can be the most...
Article
Research on racialized older immigrants does not fully acknowledge the interplay between the life course experiences of diverse populations and the structural conditions that shape these experiences. Our research team has developed the intersectional life course perspective to enhance researchers’ capacity to take account of the cumulative effects...
Article
**Up to 50 e-prints of this article are available from https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/6VN8VISWHEZCIZXKQ9GY/full?target=10.1080/13557858.2019.1655529** Objectives: This paper explores the role of immigrant-serving agencies in facilitating access to dementia services and supports provided by dementia service agencies (particularly the health auth...
Article
Full-text available
Our work suggests that older immigrants have rights to social participation and inclusion that are undermined by policy across the life course. These dynamics can contribute to economic precarity, housing instability, and family disruption to name a few impacts - all which influence social isolation. However, older immigrants also demonstrate resil...
Presentation
Full-text available
The objective of this presentation is to to share stories of diverse older immigrants’ experiences over the life course, as collected using life story narrative and photovoice methods, to illuminate - In which domains and how they respond to adversity - The types of adversity they have faced - The resources they have drawn on, and - The environment...
Method
Full-text available
These 4 interview protocols were used to conduct (1) focus groups with Korean and Punjabi older adults (men and women in separate groups) and with working -age adults in each community; (2) interviews with persons with dementia (PWD) in Korean and Punjabi-speaking communities; (3) interviews with the family care partners (most often spouses) of the...
Presentation
Full-text available
This presentation aims to provide some insight into how older adults of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds may experience prescription medications and what is needed with respect to their safe medication use. It speaks first, to the beliefs that immigrant older adults may hold about health, illness and aging and how these influence their utilization...
Technical Report
Full-text available
On February 26, 2019, a diverse group of stakeholders attended the Caregivers, Family and Home Care Forum hosted by the Lived Experiences Vancouver research team. This forum used the photovoice exhibit, The Lived Experience of Aging Immigrants, to springboard facilitated discussions on the topics of caregivers, family and home care in relation to i...
Technical Report
Full-text available
On February 19, 2019, a diverse group of stakeholders attended the Resilience, Social Connection and Community Organization Forum hosted by the Lived Experiences Vancouver research team. This forum used the photovoice exhibit, The Lived Experience of Aging Immigrants, to springboard facilitated discussions on the topics of resilience, social connec...
Technical Report
Full-text available
On December 3rd, 2018, a diverse group of 25 stakeholders attended the Disability, Housing and Transportation Forum hosted by the Lived Experiences research team in Vancouver. This forum used the photovoice exhibit, The Lived Experience of Aging Immigrants, to springboard facilitated discussions on the topics of disability, housing, and transportat...
Presentation
Full-text available
Objective: The Building Trust project aimed to understand the process of gaining access to dementia-related information, diagnosis, care and psychosocial supports by Punjabi- and Korean-speaking older adults with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias and their informal caregivers living in the Fraser Health region of British Columbia, Canada. M...
Poster
Full-text available
A regional health authority and Alzheimer Society chapter in British Columbia have valuable resources on dementia and other health and social supports, but they do not know how to adapt their policy and practice tools to address the complex problems of access for immigrant older adults and their families. Staff in immigrant-serving agencies typical...
Presentation
Full-text available
Illustrates some of the unique dimensions of social isolation for immigrant older adults, an increasingly significant subgroup of seniors in Canada. Draws on examples from the Lived Experiences of Aging Immigrants exhibit.
Article
Immigrant older adults are increasingly moving into long term residential care (LTRC) homes; however, most were designed and continue to be run in accordance with Anglocentric norms and values. Participation and interest in Family Councils—through which they might collectively voice concerns—was low within our purposive sample of nine Chinese-origi...
Poster
Full-text available
Objectives: A regional health authority and Alzheimer Society chapter in British Columbia have valuable resources on dementia and other health and social supports, but they do not know how to adapt their policy and practice tools to address the complex problems of access for immigrant older adults and their families. Staff in immigrant-serving [IS]...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The care provided by a majority of ‘mainstream’ Residential Long-Term Care (RLTC) facilities is incompatible with the needs of immigrant older adults. In British Columbia (BC), Canada, Chinese-origin older adults are a substantial and growing minority and research indicates that RLTC facilities not targeted at this population need direc...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the results of a narrative-photovoice project on the life stories of 18 older immigrants living in two Canadian provinces. The objective was to deepen our understanding of the diverse lived experiences of immigrant older adults (those who immigrated in later life and those who immigrated earlier and aged in Canada). Findings rev...
Presentation
Invited keynote for the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) event hosted by the Grandview-Woodland Community Response Network. [Audience: approx. 150 immigrant older adults and support workers].
Article
This article proposes the development of an intersectional life course perspective that is capable of exploring the links between structural inequalities and the lived experience of aging among racialized older people. Merging key concepts from intersectionality and life course perspectives, the authors suggest an analytic approach to better accoun...
Article
This pilot project asked, how do ethnically diverse older adult residents of Assisted Living (AL) facilities in British Columbia (BC) experience quality of life? And, what role, if any, do organizational and physical environmental features play in influencing how quality of life is experienced? The study was conducted at three AL sites in BC: two e...
Presentation
Full-text available
Thirty minute invited presentation delivered as part of an interactive day of exchanging knowledge, resources and tools with the settlement sector. A video/audio of this presentation can be viewed at amssa.org/resources/videos
Article
The Seniors Support Services for South Asian Community (S⁴AC) project was developed in response to the underutilization of available recreation and seniors' facilities by South Asian seniors who were especially numerous in a suburban neighbourhood in British Columbia. Addressing the problem required the collaboration of the municipality and a regis...
Article
RÉSUMÉ Les Services de soutien pour les aînés projet communautaire sud-asiatique (SSAPCSA) ont été développé en réponse à la sous-utilisation des loisirs disponibles et des installations pour les aînés par des aînés sud-asiatiques qui étaient particulièrement nombreux dans une banlieue en Colombie-Britannique. Abordant ce problème a nécessité la co...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This cross-cultural pilot project asked, How do ethnically diverse older adult residents of Assisted Living (AL) facilities in British Columbia experience quality of life (QoL)? and What role, if any, do organizational, physical, and social environmental features play in influencing how QoL is experienced? This mixed methods study was conducted at...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Theoretical perspectives that incorporate race/ethnicity/culture are not well developed in the ageing literature even today. There appears to be little consensus on how to use the terms even though there seems to be agreement that when this dimension is factored in, it accounts for disparities in health and wellbeing. Critics of Canada's multicultu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Seniors Support Services for South Asian Community (S4AC) project was developed in response to the underutilization of available recreation and seniors’ facilities by South Asian seniors who were especially numerous in a suburban neighbourhood in British Columbia. Addressing the problem required the collaboration of the municipality and a regis...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This newsletter was presented to residents as well as front line and administrative staff in 3 Assisted living sites (October 7th and 10th, 2014) in which we conducted our pilot study. Publications from the study are forthcoming.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore if and how community organizations providing services to late-in-life Punjabi immigrants in British Columbia, Canada, offer services with the potential to promote their mental health or well-being. The authors also wanted to know how Punjabi seniors perceived available services and if they supported...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report is the result of a planning grant exercise which is detailed in the lay summary for the grant that supported it, below: Recent immigrant older adults and some visible minorities who have aged here—together known as ethnic minority older adults (EMOA)—both experience health inequities in Canada. These are primarily related to difficultie...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Self-management programmes are complex interventions aimed at improving the way individuals self-manage chronic conditions, but there are questions about the overall impact of these programmes on disadvantaged populations, in terms of their capacity to engage with and receive the benefits from these initiatives. Given the increased res...
Article
Full-text available
The release of this important compendium of research reviews signals the coming of age of the field of minority aging in in the United States (U.S.). At least two important leadership decisions can be credited for this significant accomplishment: one is the emphasis in statements and rules by the National Institutes of Health on the necessity of in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Our cross-cultural Pathways study explore the pre-diagnosis period of Alzheimer's Disease and related Dementias in Canada's four major ethno-linguistic groups across four Canadian cities. In total, we conducted separate qualitative interviews with 27 persons with dementia and 32 of their family caregivers. Previous analyses of these data reported o...
Article
Full-text available
Urban centers are increasingly ethnically diverse. However, some visible minorities are less likely than their majority counterparts to seek and receive services and treatment for dementia. This study explored experiences of South Asian Canadians, Canada's largest visible minority group, prior to dementia diagnosis. Six persons with dementia and ei...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of the Study: As the prevalence of dementia increases, the pressure to make early diagnoses also increases. Although patients must be able to identify the symptoms to access appropriate services, they may not be equally accessible to all citizens in a multicultural society. Health care professionals and patients may lack a common "first lan...
Data
This 5-page plain-language community based summary of the research funded by the LiVWELL group at SFU and by the United Way of the Lower Mainland highlights the benefits of he Seniors Support Services for South Asian Community Project which is jointly hosted by DIVERSEcity Community Services Society and the City of Surrey and funded by UWLM. The pr...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Seniors Support Services for South Asian Community (S4AC) project was developed in response to a problem in the community: although South Asian seniors were especially numerous in the Newton area of Surrey, they were not using recreation and seniors’ facilities in this neighbourhood. Addressing the problem required the collaboration of the Park...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Older immigrants from South Asia experience higher morbidities of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. They also have lower physical activity rates and higher barriers to accessing knowledge about chronic conditions and the care they need to live well with these conditions. Current models for self-management educ...
Data
Full-text available
You may be looking at this indexed bibliography on the health and health care access of older adults of Chinese origin living in Canada and similar countries because you are an older person of Chinese origin, a health or multicultural settlement service provider responsible for the health or health care access for this population, or a health or se...
Data
Full-text available
You may be looking at this indexed bibliography on the health and health care access of older adults of South Asian origin living in Canada and similar countries because you are an older person of South Asian origin, a health or multicultural settlement service provider responsible for the health or health care access for this population, or a heal...
Data
Full-text available
We would like to make our bibliographies freely available in order to further research in the area of health and healthcare of, for and with, ethnocultural minority older adult populations in Canada and elsewhere. We would also like these references to be readily accessible to frontline service providers. However, we offer a couple of caveats. Firs...
Article
Full-text available
Immigrants represent 28%of the Canadian population over 65,and older immigrants–more of them are women –now comprise the majority of the aging population in Canada’s large metropolitan cities. Despite ample research about abuse of older adults in general, few Canadian studies have focused on abuse of older immigrant women. This paper reports policy...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Punjabi Seniors Wellness Coalition is group of researchers and community partners engaged in health promotion. In 2010, the group secured Community Action Initiative funding to explore the extent to which community services targeted at Punjabi seniors in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, address the social determinants of mental health. In 2...
Article
Full-text available
This critical constructionist case study of ‘Leonard,’ a man with frontotemporal dementia living on a special care unit predominantly populated by people with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias, explores how healthy others’ perceptions of the prevailing physical and psychosocial environment were influenced by Leonard’s behaviour which, in tu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report summarizes findings from two forums, held in Abbotsford and Surrey, British Columbia in April and May 2011. Their purpose was to explore the extent to which community services targeted at Punjabi seniors at these two locations address the social determinants of mental health, identified by Keleher and Armstrong (2005): ¨ social inclusio...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Taking care of chronic disease: realizing approaches for Canada's aging ethnic population was a workshop held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in February 2011. The purpose of this workshop was to begin to address an existing evidence gap on approaches to self-management support that meet the needs of immigrant older adults with chronic condi...
Article
Increasing evidence suggests that early diagnosis and management of dementia-related symptoms may improve the quality of life for patients and their families. However, individuals may wait from 1-3 years from the onset of symptoms before receiving a diagnosis. The objective of this qualitative study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Taking care of chronic disease: realizing approaches for Canada's aging ethnic population was a workshop held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in February 2011. The purpose of this workshop was to begin to address an existing evidence gap on approaches to self management support that meet the needs of immigrant older adults with chronic condi...
Article
Efforts to understand pathways to a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) are important in light of the benefits of early diagnosis to both patients and families, but very little is known about the ways in which persons with dementia and their family caregivers experience this pathway from the point of initial symptom recogn...
Chapter
Full-text available
Understanding the diverse experiences of aging both across and within Canada’s numerous ethnocultural groups thus requires complex theoretical and methodological approaches that move beyond a focus on ethnicity and age to explore the effects of other interlocking markers of social inequality in studying the lives of older adults. We suggest that it...
Presentation
Dr. Mills speaks to the tasks that individuals must undertake to live well with one or more chronic conditions - these include having the confidence to deal with medical management, role management and emotional management of their conditions. Dr. Koehn presents on the challenges of taking care of chronic conditions for immigrant older adults. Vide...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Purpose of the Forum: The ICARE forum Knowledge. Power. Access. was held on June 25, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Langara College in Vancouver, British Columbia. The forum provided an opportunity for the ICARE team to introduce and communicate our purpose to a diverse group of stakeholders from the multicultural settlement, community, healt...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Canada is experiencing two dramatic changes in its population profile: (a) an increase in the proportion of Canadians 65 years of age and older and (b) a rapid increase in the ethnic diversification of its population of seniors. These trends are particularly significant in British Columbia, where the proportion of ethnic minority seniors is higher...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Speaking to the Interface: A Symposium on Access to Care for Ethnic Minority Seniors was a two-day event held on April 19-20, 2007 at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel in Surrey, British Columbia. We speak about an interface because research on access to health care has shown that ease of access to appropriate and timely health care depends on two thing...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we discuss some of the methodological implications of gender, based on research conducted among seniors in the age group 67 to 100+, living independently (alone, or with minimal assistance) in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada's retirement capital. Our research evolved over time to concern the manner in which people being intervie...
Thesis
Full-text available
The principle aim of this inquiry is to understand how elderly Hindu Punjabi women utilize and shape Ayurvedic knowledge in the broader context of their lives. Do these precepts constitute a way of knowing in the world as women, as seniors, as immigrants? Ayurveda furnishes a wealth of indigenous categories of understanding, which can function as e...
Research
Full-text available
A study of 830 Chinese seniors currently residing in Greater Vancouver and Greater Victoria (Chapell & Lai 1996) found that health service utilization by this group was similar to that found among other groups of seniors in British Columbia and Canada as a whole. Predictors of service use were likewise parallel to that of other populations. Nonethe...
Thesis
Full-text available
The objectives of this thesis are twofold: first, it aims to elucidate the experience of immigrant Punjabi women sponsored in their later years by sons and daughters already living in British Columbia, Canada; second, it examines the impact of immigration legislation on that experience. Family Class immigration legislation provides for the sponsors...
Article
The two primary aims of this paper are ( 1) to explore the possible causes of the Sikh struggle for Khalistan during the 1980s and ( 2) to draw together into a workable hypothesis the various threads of the so-called "Ecological Model of Ethnic Emergence." I have used the Sikh case as a testing ground for the model against which it has fared remark...

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Projects

Projects (23)
Project
Three themed stakeholder forums that use the Lived Experiences photovoice exhibit as a springboard for discussions with policy and other decision-makers to effect change in their spheres of influence. Themes include (1) Disability, Housing, and Transportation (Dec 3, 2018; (2) Resilience, Social Connection and Community Organization (Feb 19, 2019); (3) Caregiving, Family and Homecare (Feb 26, 2019) – guest speaker: BC Senior’s Advocate. Organized in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Elder Law (1) and the United Way of the Lower Mainland (2 & 3). Parallel forums held in Calgary, Montreal and Quebec City.
Project