Thanks to Sage (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), transgender men and women have a new guidebook on what to anticipate as they get older. Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice not only takes on the current state of transgender aging, but also anticipates the challenges that older adults will face in their lifetimes – including disparities in health and healthcare access, employment and housing.
“Transgender individuals face many challenges associated with aging, including declining health, diminished income and the loss of friends and family. Yet they also face additional challenges such as discrimination and hostility when accessing the services meant to support older adults,” says Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE. “Now, with this report, policymakers and aging service providers will gain a clear picture of the current state of transgender aging, and a roadmap of what they can do to improve policies and practices to ensure that transgender older adults age successfully.”
The report includes a detailed literature review, profiles of personal experiences of transgender elders around the country, and more than 60 recommendations for aging transgender seniors. There are four specific goals that both groups would like to achieve in the next decade:
The report event cites a 2005 study in Philadelphia that revealed many transgender people lack a primary care doctor. The study found that one-third of the transgender population in Philly had no regular doctor at all.
“Transgender older adults want to live healthy and independent lives and maintain dignity as they age,” says Harper Jean Tobin of NCTE’s Policy Counsel. “But this population faces unique challenges that the aging field, as well as the LGBT community, need to pay attention to.”