Transition Care deals with the movement of children or young adolescents to adult palliative care services. Advances in medicine and modern treatments mean that many children who have are born with, or develop a life-limiting condition can expect to live into adulthood. This part of the website aims to inform parents and young people about moving from child services to adult services.
Hilary Maguire, Community Services Manager, Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice
Helen Kerr, All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, Doctoral Fellow
Transition to adult services can be very challenging. It needs to be planned for years in advance. Young people and their families have described it as ‘daunting’. They are often leaving trusted long standing relationships with health care professionals in children’s services, and with staff at schools they attend, and facing the challenge of making new relationships with adult health services and education. Young people who have ‘transitioned’ have emphasised how important it is to start planning for the transition process from an early stage, usually from about the age of 14. This might seem early, but transition is a big change; young person's and their families need to know what services are available in the ‘adult world’, these are often very different to what they have been used to with children’s services.
Good transition planning focuses on each individual young person’s needs, goals and ambitions and involves the young person, their parents, their school, their family doctor, health professionals and any other person or organisation with a relevant contribution. So, young people and their parents need to discuss the subject together and also with everyone else involved. A transition coordinator or key worker is usually assigned to each young person to assist them through the process. Practical preparation for transition may include visits to adult hospitals or clinics to meet the care team who will be taking over from the children’s services as well as visits to college, university, day centres or other support facilities. These visits can be arranged with the support of their transition coordinator.
If you would like more information regarding your child’s transition, talk to the professionals with whom you have the most contact, for example your hospice nurse, social worker, children’s nurse or teacher. They should be able to provide you with the correct information and/or the appropriate contact.
An excellent website designed for young people moving from child services to adult services. It contains numerous tips, videos, articles and stories from other young people who haved moved from child to adult services.
Link to website: www.steppingup.ie