This project is funded by a 2-year programme grant from Dunhill Medical Trust to October 2018. Sponsored by Swansea University, the project is based at the Centre for Innovative Ageing in the College of Human and Health Sciences.

Very little is known about trans people’s health and social care needs in later life. This mixed-methods research project will seek to address this gap by investigating the current provision of health and social care services to older trans people in Wales. The research will include the professional perspectives and experiences of health and social care professionals to develop good practice guidelines for improving services. This encompasses health and social care teams that deliver services to older adults in Wales including: GP clinics, mental health teams, disability teams, adult community and social care teams, and nursing and residential care staff.

Findings from the research will provide new evidence to raise awareness about gender identity and ageing for health and social care professionals across Wales. In accordance with the priorities of the Welsh Strategy for Older People (Welsh Government, 2013) the findings will help ensure that older trans adults ‘do not experience multiple discrimination’ (p. 9) by identifying barriers, assumptions and actions in health and social care services which reinforce transphobic attitudes and service environments, and prevent older trans people from receiving equal, dignified and person-centred care.

The aims of the research are:

  1. To identify what support services older trans people currently access and receive and how effective trans people perceive these services to be in meeting their needs;
  2. To examine attitudes and perceptions of health and social care professionals working with older people towards older trans people;
  3. To identify the a) health and social care needs of trans people aged 50 and over residing in Wales across the life course, and b) the hopes, expectations and concerns of older trans people about service provision in older age; and,
  4. To produce digital stories and guidelines for health and social care practitioners on supporting older trans people in later life and for ensuring receipt of person-centred services. Research methods include an all-Wales survey of health and social care professionals and life-history interviews with trans-identifying adults over 50 years of age.

The project will use three research methods:

  1. Life-history interviews with older trans people (50+ years of age) currently living in Wales
  2. An online questionnaire of health and social professionals currently providing services to older people across Wales
  3. Workshops in North and South Wales to bring professionals and community members together to develop good practice guidelines for supporting older trans people through health and social care services.

We will use the findings to develop web-based materials for professionals to inform them about how they can provide better, more inclusive care. There will be a final conference for service providers and trans community members in 2018 to share the findings and outcomes of the project.

The project is proudly delivered in collaboration with Unique Transgender Network and the Older LGBT Network for Wales, Age Cymru. The research will be guided by a critical reference group of which half the group will be trans community members.


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