I Have a Transgender Client…Now What?

For many aging service providers, transgender elders exist in some mysterious place located between lurid television talk shows and an (otherwise) massive cultural silence.  Told they are going to be serving or caring for a transgender elder, some service providers wonder — aloud or not — just what they’re going to face, and what they’re supposed to do.

A new publication from the FORGE Transgender Aging Network and the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging seeks to fill this gap.  Written in a fairly simple, question-and-answer style, “I Have a Transgender Client…Now What?” answers the following common questions and concerns:

  • What does transgender mean?
  • What will he or she look like?
  • What name do I call her or him?
  • Do I refer to this person as he, she, or what?
  • I have to help this person bathe, dress, or toilet.  What should I expect?
  • What am I supposed to do about grooming?
  • What do I say to other staff or clients?
  • I work in a facility with separate male and female bathrooms and/or bedrooms.  Where does my client belong?
  • My religion is opposed to transgender people; what can I do?
  • What else should I know?
  • How do I find out more?
  • What’s the most important thing I need to remember?

The 3-page document is available at http://www.lgbtagingcenter.org/resources/resource.cfm?r=510

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