I have over 30 years of direct professional Social Work practice working in the field of aging and health care. This included maintaining a small, ongoing practice providing consultation on complex cases, especially when there are issues related to decision-making capacity and/or abuse, neglect or self-neglect.

I am the founding director, and current co-director of the Centre for Research on Personhood and Dementia (CRPD) — an interdisciplinary research centre focused on understanding and supporting people with dementia and their family care partners using a lens that recognizes that the dementia experience is both a biomedical AND a social condition.

I am a founding member of the Citizenship and Dementia: International Research Network.

I have been a social worker for over 35 years. My professional and research practice has predominantly focused on issues related to social work practice in the field of aging and I am particularly well-recognized for my work related to dementia, personhood and citizenship. I bring a lens to my work that strives to examine and make explicit the interface between the personal  experience and socio-political context. Within my teaching, I try to foster critical thinking and the articulation of the link between theory, practice and research.

Winter 2016
No SOWK course(s) were found for W2016 term.Winter 2016
No SOWK course(s) were found for W2016 term.Winter 2016
No SOWK course(s) were found for W2016 term.Winter 2016
No SOWK course(s) were found for W2016 term.

Ongoing research studies include:

a) A mixed-methods study exploring the issues of boomer-aged adults;

b) A qualitative evaluation study aimed at understanding and responding to the needs of older adults experiencing abuse;

c) A participatory action research project focused on self-management and living well for people with dementia;

d) A critical ethnography examining the relationships between family and care staff in long-term care;

e) An ethnographic study examining how community day programs foster social citizenship and involvement in people with dementia

Refereed Publications

Chan, SM. & O’Connor, D. (2014) Personhood: Including the Chinese Person with Dementia in Research, Policy and Practice. Journal of Ethnic And Cultural Diversity in Social Work (1531-3204)

Brondani MA, MacEntee M, O’Connor, D. (2011). Email as a data collection tool when interviewing  older adults.   International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 10(3): 221

Bartlett, R. and O’Connor, D. (2010). Broadening the Dementia Debate: Toward Social Citizenship, Bristol, UK: The Policy Press.

O’Connor, D. (2010) Personhood and Dementia: Toward a Relational Framework for Assessing Decisional  Capacity. Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, 5(3), 22-30.

O’Connor, D.  (2010)  Incapability Assessments:  A review of Assessment and Screening Tools.    Report commissioned by the Public Guardian and Trustee’s Office:  <http://www.trustee.bc.ca/documents/STA/Incapability_Assessments_Review_Assessment_Screening_Tools.pdf>

O’Connor, D. and Purves, B. (eds) (2009). Decision-making, Personhood and Dementia: Exploring the Interface. London: Jessica Kingsley Press.O’Connor, D. (2010) Understanding and Assessing (In) Capacity: Promoting Social Work Competence. Perspectives, 32(3).

O’Connor, D.,  Phinney, A. & Hulko, W.  (2010)  Dementia at the Intersections:  Exploring social location in the dementia experience. Journal of Aging Studies   24(4)

O’Connor, D.,  Hall, M. & Donnelly, M.  (2009)   Assessing capacity in a context of abuse.  Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect.

Phinney, A., Chaudhury, H., O’Connor, D.  (2007)  Doing as much as I  can:  Exploring meaningful activity in dementia.  Aging and Mental Health.  11(4), 384 – 393.

O’Connor, D.  (2007)  Developing a caregiver identity:  the positioning process.  Journal of Aging Studies. 21 , 165-174

O’Connor, D., Phinney, A., Smith, A., Small, J., Purves, B., Perry, J., Donnelly, M., Drance, E., Chaudhury, H., Beattie, L.  (2007)  Dementia Care:  Developing a research agenda  for broadening the vision.  Dementia:  International Journal of social research and practice  6(1), 121 – 143.

Bartlett, R. L. & O’Connor, D.  (2007)  From Personhood to Citizenship:  broadening the lens for dementia practice and research.   Journal of Aging Studies  21, 107 – 118.