Some of you would have already started the move from children’s health services to adult services. This is called transition. Transition takes time.
Transition is the planned move from health services for children to health services for adults.
Living with epilepsy, for most of you means living with a long term health condition.
When you are about 14, your doctor might start talking to you and your parents about helping you get ready for transition or moving to adult health services. Don’t worry; they will do this over time so you can start being a little more independent before this happens. Some doctors will ask you to see you by yourself for the first part of the appointment so you can ask any questions you like, and the doctor can ask you questions too. Often your parents are then asked to join you and the rest of the appointment is done together. It can be difficult to remember everything the doctor says, or even understand some of the information, so it is important that you ask questions when you are not sure what is meant.
As you get older you will become more involved in discussions and decisions about your treatments.
The adult services will treat you as an adult and will expect that you have some independence and are able to do many things yourself.
Here is a comparison:
|Paediatric Services||Adult Services||Tips|
|Very family focussed||Treat you as an independent adult||Bring someone else with you to an appointment. Sometimes it helps with remembering all the details.|
|Your parents are usually asked the questions||You will be asked the questions and should know about your health condition||Have a list of questions and concerns with you when you visit the doctor so you don’t forget to ask what you want or need to know.|
|There is sometimes more flexibility with appointments||You will have to make your own appointments and keep them||Make sure you mention what the appointment is about when you book so they can determine if you need a long or short appointment.|
|There are less costs in paediatric care, and many GPs bulk bill children||You may have extra costs and charges||Learn about Medicare and what your private health insurance covers if you have it.|
You may find this challenging. If you feel you still need some support it is OK to bring someone with you. Most adults bring someone with them to their appointments; it is actually encouraged because it’s really hard to take everything on board yourself.
With independence comes the need to learn about your condition, how to make medical appointments, get yourself there, get your medication, use your Medicare card and lots of other things.
To get you started we have pulled together a list of things you might need to know over the next few years as you transition to adult health services no matter where you are in your journey.
Click on the link below to download your own health information checklist.
Remember, don’t be afraid to speak up about any concerns you have and ask for advice when you need it.