A narrative review of literature on the use of health and social care by older trans adults: what can United Kingdom services learn?

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We carried out a narrative review and thematic analysis of literature on the physical health care, mental health care and social care of trans older adults to ascertain what is known about older trans adults' contacts with and use of health and social care. Thirty papers were found: A majority originated in the United States of America. Five themes were identified: experience of discrimination/prejudice and disrespect; health inequalities; socio-economic inequalities; positive practice; and staff training and education. The first three themes present challenges for providers and service users. Experiences of discrimination/prejudice and disrespect over the course of their lives powerfully influence how older trans adults engage with care services and practitioners. Health and socio-economic inequalities suggest that older trans adults are likely to have greater need of services and care. The remaining two themes offer opportunities for service improvement. We conclude that more research is needed, that there is a strong argument for taking a lifecourse perspective in a spirit of cultural humility, and that contextual societal factors influence service users and providers. We identify positive trans-inclusive practices which we commend to services. More needs to be done now to make older adult services appropriate and welcoming for trans service users.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalAgeing and Society
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2021