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Trans information and advice

Trans describes people whose gender identity differs from the gender they were assigned at birth. It’s an umbrella term that embraces different identities, but this page focuses on people who live – or are seeking to live – in their affirmed gender.

Getting older when trans

Your experience of being trans may be influenced by how old you were when you transitioned, if you took medication as part of your transition and when that was. If you’re in the first generation of older trans people receiving medication, it’s likely you have some unique health needs.

It's a good idea to make sure you have a health check at least once a year, and if you sense, see or feel anything unusual about your body, seek prompt medical advice. 

Becoming trans in later life

The decision to transition is a personal one. You might feel like you're too old to transition, or that there’s little point after spending so long living in your assigned gender. But transitioning can bring feelings of relief and self-acceptance at any age. 

Older people can transition and start living in their affirmed gender in just the same way that younger people can. If you’re considering medical interventions such as hormone therapy or surgery, it's important to seek advice and support from a healthcare professional, who will be able to discuss the limits and potential impacts of these treatments with you.

If you’d like to know more, speak to your doctor, who can refer you to a Gender Identity Clinic (GIC).

Find out more about getting referred to a GIC

The Gender Recognition Act

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 means you can apply to be recognised in your affirmed gender. You'll receive a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) and a new birth certificate if you were born in the UK.

Anyone can change their name by deed poll or by a Statutory Declaration.

Find out more about changing your name by deed poll on GOV.UK

If you use two names, or if you've only recently begun living in your affirmed gender, it's important to make sure you're clearly identified in your will. Equally, if you're named in someone else’s will by your former name, you'll need your GRC or other paperwork as evidence of your past identity.

Find out about how to apply for a GRC on GOV.UK

Pension and benefits

If you have a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), you're treated as your affirmed gender for all legal purposes. Obtaining a GRC can affect:

  • your National Insurance contributions
  • your tax liability
  • the benefits and State Pension that you or your spouse or civil partner may receive – either now or in the future.

You can contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Gender Recognition Team for more information by:

You might want to seek advice from an independent financial advisor in advance of any legal change of gender.

Arranging care

If you're finding it more difficult to cope by yourself at home, there’s help available. The first step is to get in touch with your local council to arrange a care needs assessment.

Find out more about care needs assessments

It’s important to discuss your specific needs with the service that provides your care because you might have complex requirements relating to gender reassignment or its associated treatment. For example, you might need to talk about medication, shaving or maintaining your hair or wig.

If you feel awkward about discussing your needs, remember that care staff have a duty to promote your wellbeing and treat you with dignity and respect.

If you're assessed by your council as being eligible for help following your care needs assessment and your financial assessment, then you'll be given a personal budget to make sure your needs are met. You have the option to receive direct payments so you can arrange your own care services, rather than the council making the arrangements on your behalf. 

Find out more about direct payments

Housing and residential care

If you're thinking of moving into sheltered housing or a care home, it’s important to do plenty of research and visit the places you're considering. As with care services, consider your privacy needs and what you'll need for your mental and physical health. 

Find out more about housing options in later life

When planning for the future, you could write down clear instructions for what you'd like to happen if you lose mental capacity to make your own decisions – such as what kind of clothing should be bought for you and how you'd like to be addressed.

You might want to write an advance statement to set out how you'd like to be treated and your likes and dislikes or think about assigning a lasting power of attorney (LPA). 

Find out more about legal considerations when planning for the future

Phone icon We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local Age UKs.

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Last updated: Apr 08 2024

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