Trans Ageing and Care Project - Dignified and Inclusive Health and Social Care for Older Trans People in Wales

February 26, 2019

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On Friday, February 8th, researchers from The University of Bristol and Swansea University hosted a practitioner workshop regarding developing inclusive health and social care services for older trans people in Wales.

Presenting were:


Paul Willis, University of Bristol
Michele Raithby, Swansea University
Chris Dobbs, Swansea University
Cecilia Dubois, Swansea University


In 2016, The House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee brought forward a Parliamentary report which identified pervasive transphobia in public services. Furthermore, a recent 2018 LGBT survey reports lower life-satisfaction with trans participants. Additionally, there has been little research on older trans adults, with the data often hidden in other LGBT samples. The TrAC (Trans Ageing and Care) project, a mixed-methods study, looked at health and social care provision for older trans people and sought to identify good practice and make wider recommendations for change in light of lack of research evidence specific to older people’s lives.


The National LGBT survey, conducted in July 2018 by the UK Government, had some interesting findings.


  • Trans respondents had lower scores than cis-LGB people and general population.

  • 16% of trans respondents had sought healthcare or medical treatment outside the UK.

  • 21% of trans respondents stated that their specific needs were not taken into account when accessing healthcare services

  • There were significant issues when accessing gender identity services

While there is little research on older trans adults, as stated previous, some findings are available. There are many who choose to transition later in life due to fears in facing discrimination in the workplace as well as loss of financial and social status. Many also experience worries in growing old alone due to being trans. Furthermore, there have been many instances of incidents where trans people face discrimination in the NHS, including dead naming. The hashtag #transdocfail illustrates many of these harmful incidents.


The TrAC Project


The main aims of the TrAC project were to identify health and social care needs of 50+ trans people in Wales, to examine attitudes and perceptions of health/social care professionals, and to establish person-centred services for older trans people in Wales.


In doing do, they undertook an online survey of health and social care professionals. There were 167 participants (93% white, 91% from the UK with an average age of 37).


The overall findings suggested that participants in the survey had an awareness of trans issues as well as trans civil rights. The lack of significant results suggests that participants were those who already had an interest in trans issues.


The second part of the project involved life-history interviews with trans adults. There were 22 participants between ages of 50-74. Two self-described at crossdressers, one identified as gender fluid, 4 were trans men and 15 were trans women.