Culture Matters in Mobilizing ACP


Action is needed to mobilize the LGBT community and Chinese and South Asian communities to complete ACP documents and engage in goals of care conversations with appropriate others. Based on our focus groups, it is clear that the topic of ACP is not well understood by members of the South Asian community and is a taboo topic for many in the Chinese community. For them, the first step is basic education about what ACP is and is not. Issues for LGBT persons are who can speak for them & provide care.

Gloria Gutman, PhD, FCAHS, C.M., O.B.C., LLD(Hon.) is Professor Emerita in the Gerontology Department and a Research Associate in the Gerontology Research Centre at Simon Fraser University (SFU), having founded and directed both from 1982 to 2005. She is currently the President of the International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA), and a distinguished international record of academic and advisory service. Dr. Gutman completed her undergraduate degree and doctorate at the University of British Columbia and her masters at the University of Alberta.  Her research interests are wide-ranging; including seniors’ housing, long term care, health promotion, dementia care, environmental design of age-friendly hospitals and cities, and seniors emergency preparedness.

Brian de Vries, PhD is an Adjunct Professor in Gerontology at Simon Fraser University (SFU), and a Professor of Gerontology at San Francisco State University (SFSU). He received his doctoral degree from the University of British Columbia in 1988, followed by post-doctoral fellowships at both Simon Fraser University and the University of Southern California. His areas of research interest relate to LGBT aging and trying to understand the challenges and strengths of aging as a member of a sexual minority under stigmatizing conditions, the unique and pivotal roles friends play in our lives, and how we grieve and the role of loss in our lives.

The Diversity Access Team aims to address low completion rates of advance care directives and other advance care planning (ACP) documents and end-of-life (EOL) care preference discussions by: exploring the level of ACP knowledge and readiness in our target populations (benefits, challenges, scope; their concerns related to EOL planning); increasing cultural relevance of approaches and tools supporting ACP – specifically, workbooks that offer information about ACP and prompt users to initiate an ACP process, which includes thinking about their values and preferences for EOL care, choosing a decision maker and communicating these preferences to a selected person. The DAT is exploring challenges related to participating in ACP among members of the LGBT community and some ethnic groups.