Navigating Transgender Elder Care: Best Practices for Medical Prescribers

May 13, 2024

As medical prescribers, it's essential to provide inclusive and affirming care to all patients, including aging and elderly transgender individuals. With the transgender community facing unique healthcare challenges, it's crucial to understand best practices for ensuring their health and well-being as they age. In this article, we'll explore key considerations and resources for providing comprehensive care to transgender elders.

Understanding the Landscape: The transgender aging population faces a myriad of challenges, including discrimination, lack of access to competent healthcare, and social isolation. As healthcare providers, it's our responsibility to address these challenges and provide compassionate care that respects each individual's gender identity and expression.

Key Considerations:

  1. Culturally Competent Care: Take the time to educate yourself and your staff about transgender identities and experiences. Use inclusive language and ask about chosen name and pronouns. Respect confidentiality and privacy at all times.

  2. Hormone Therapy Management: Many transgender individuals may be undergoing hormone therapy, even in their later years. It's essential to understand the potential interactions between hormone therapy and other medications commonly prescribed to elderly patients.

  3. Preventive Care: Ensure that transgender elders receive age-appropriate preventive screenings and vaccinations. Be mindful of the recommended screenings which you can find as a premium member of QueerCME.

  4. Mental Health Support: Transgender elders may have experienced a lifetime of discrimination and trauma. Offer access to mental health services that are sensitive to their unique experiences and provide support for coping with issues such as gender dysphoria, depression, and anxiety.

  5. Social Support Networks: Encourage transgender elders to connect with supportive communities and organizations like SAGE, FORGE, and TAN. These organizations offer valuable resources, support groups, and advocacy efforts aimed at improving the lives of transgender individuals as they age.

Favorite Resources:

  • SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders): SAGE provides advocacy and services for LGBTQ+ elders, including the Long-Term Care Equality Index, which assesses the inclusivity of long-term care facilities.
  • FORGE: FORGE empowers service providers and advocates for systems reform to reduce the impact of trauma on transgender survivors. They offer resources and support for aging transgender individuals.
  • TAN (Transgender Aging Network): TAN supports Elder TG, a support and networking e-mail list for transgender individuals aged 50 and older, as well as their allies.

By incorporating these best practices and utilizing resources from organizations like SAGE, FORGE, and TAN, medical prescribers can play a crucial role in improving the quality of care for aging transgender patients. Let's work together to ensure that all individuals, regardless of gender identity or expression, receive the respectful and affirming care they deserve as they age.



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