National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP) provides vital information on the efficacy of federally funded in-home and community-based services to meet the needs of the aging population in the U.S. The survey currently includes questions about respondents’ sexual orientation, but not their gender identity.
There are an estimated 217,000 transgender adults age 65 and older in the U.S. Adding questions about gender identity to the NSOAAP would help researchers and service providers better understand the unique experiences and urgent needs of older gender minorities in the country.
The comment explains that the NSOAAP currently collects information about respondents’ sexual orientation but not their gender identity. Including measures to identify transgender people and other gender minorities is particularly important as research finds that transgender older adults often encounter unique challenges related to health care access. In addition, transgender people are at high risk of poverty, food insecurity, and homelessness compared to cisgender people.