Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SAGE and NCTE Release Comprehensive New Resource on Transgender Older Adults

SAGE and NCTE Release Comprehensive New Resource on Transgender Older Adults



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 1, 2012
Contact: Judy Evans, SAGE, 212-741-2247 x237 /
jevans@sageusa.org
Vincent Paolo Villano, NCTE, (o) 202-903-0112 (c) 202-631-9640 / vvillano@transequality.org


Download Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice
[NEW YORK, NY] Today SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice, a new resource on the current state of transgender aging. Transgender older adults face unique challenges including overwhelming disparities in health and health care access, employment, housing and more. The report recognizes the importance of examining these factors as they directly affect the financial security, health and overall well-being of older transgender individuals.
"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," said 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 concrete recommendations for policy makers and practitioners. The Advisory Committee of the Transgender Aging Advisory Initiative identified four priority areas for policy advocacy to improve the lives of transgender older adults based on their expected impact if accomplished, as well as the expected feasibility of accomplishing them within the next 1-2 years:
  • Achieve inclusion and nondiscrimination in aging services by classifying LGBT older adults as a group with "greatest social need" and reauthorizing protections of older Americans to include LGBT people.
  • Promote best practices in long-term care by developing LGBT competency trainings and providing tools for long-term care facilities while including respect for the gender identity and expression of residents in specific guidelines.
  • Protect privacy in Social Security programs by updating the Social Security Administration (SSA) policies to permit individuals to change their gender designation without intrusive medical information while eliminating gender as a data field in SSA's automated verification programs.
  • Build a foundation of knowledge by including questions about gender identity and sexual orientation in federally-funded population-based surveys.
Harper Jean Tobin, NCTE Policy Counsel, said, "Transgender older adults want to live healthy and independent lives and maintain dignity as they age. But this population faces unique challenges that the aging field as well as the LGBT community need to pay attention to."
SAGE and NCTE will continue to advocate for these policy changes to ensure that older transgender adults have access to the necessary services and are treated with respect.
For more information or to speak to Harper Jean Tobin or Michael Adams, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-903-0112 / vvillano@transequality.org.
To download Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults, or to learn more about the issues covered in the report, visit sageusa.org or transequality.org.
 

Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE) is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, and provides training for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. With offices in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of 24 local SAGE affiliates in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Learn more at sageusa.org or lgbtagingcenter.org.
The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. By empowering transgender people and our allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in our nation's capital and around the country. The National Center for Transgender Equality is a 501(c)3 organization.

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