Transition to Adult Care
Introduction to transition
What is transition?
Transition is a process of moving from pediatric health care to adult health care. This transition often presents new challenges for youth with chronic illness or special needs and their families. Youth need to learn, practice and become confident in the skills they need to manage their own health. Families need to learn about the adult services that will help support their teen in the adult world.
Youth and their families often develop strong bonds with their pediatric care team members over time. Moving on to adult care can seem scary. The transition process takes several years. There are specific skills that teens can begin to learn when they are young that can lead to greater independence as adults. Youth, families and providers working together as a team will provide the best possible outcome during the transition process.
Although transition to adult health care is one part of the transition process, there are other transition issues that youth need to deal with during the process. These include adult services, education, employment, financial preparation, transportation and recreation. When planning for transition, consider who the youth or family would like to have help from. A nurse or physician team that has worked with the youth or family regularly to provide specialty care may be an ideal candidate.
What are concerns related to transition? Typical barriers that youth and families might experience include:
- Youth and family feel the loss of respected caregivers and are forced to trust the new and unknown.
- Parents' inability to buy into youth's independence or assessing developmental readiness for transition.
- Pediatric professionals sometimes underestimate the potential independence of youth.