Published on June 4th, 2012 | by Wild Gender
Caring for Trans Older Adults: Inequalities Facing Queer Elders
NEW YORK, N.Y.– A group known as Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) along with the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), have collaborated to release a guidebook for transgender people regarding aspects of aging specific to gender variant folk.
The guidebook called Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice investigates the current state of transgender aging and addresses challenges that older trans 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.”
- Inclusion and nondiscrimination in aging services by classifying LGBT seniors as a group with social need and reconsidering protections of older Americans to include all LGBT people.
- Developing LGBT competency trainings and providing tools for long-term care facilities that also includes gender identity.
- Updating the Social Security Administration policies to permit individuals to change their gender designation without intrusive medical information and eliminating gender as a data field in the agency’s automated verification programs.
- Including questions about gender identity and sexual orientation in federally-funded population-based surveys.
“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.”
Check out the video of SAGE’s LGBTQ senior center opening below. The center opened earlier this year to a welcome crowd in New York City as a full-time, citywide center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults across New York City, providing a comprehensive array of innovative services and holistic programs related to arts and culture, fitness, food and nutrition, health and wellness and lifelong education. Established through an innovative senior center initiative led by New York City’s Department for the Aging, the SAGE Center seeks to ensure that LGBT older adults in all five boroughs can age in good health, financially secure and with broad community support—as well as continue to serve as educators and leaders for our diverse communities.