Every young people needs to move from a child/family-centred model of health care to an adult/patient-centred model of health care. The healthcare transition process may require more special attention for youth with SCI. But using some proven and cognitive strategies, we can improve the outcomes of the process.

According to SCI Healthcare Transition, an authoritative website focusing on the healthcare transition for people with spinal cord injury, the process contains four stages. It crosses from aged 12-19.

Aged 12-14

It’s very beneficial for you and your child to start preparing to move to adult healthcare early. You may want to educate yourselves first to support your child better at this stage. Meanwhile, your child needs to learn about their spinal cord injury or other medical conditions they may have.

Aged 14-16

At this stage, there are two situations based on when your child acquired spinal cord injury. You and your child can look back at the first stage if your child has recently acquired a spinal cord injury. And then back to continue this stage.

If your child has had a spinal cord injury for a few years, you can keep talking with your child about their injury and the body’s response to the injury.

In a word, the knowledge we get more, the transition process we will have smoother.

Healthcare Transition for Youth with SCI

Aged 16-17

The third stage also has two situations. If your child is able to make a health appointment for themselves, see a health professional alone, ask any questions about their medical conditions, and refill medications, they may be ready to transition into the adult healthcare system.

If your child is still learning, you can support your child in reviewing the resources from the previous stages and continue to discuss any questions or concerns you have with your child’s healthcare team.

Aged 17-19

All the knowledge and resources you and your child have obtained from the earlier transition stages may help you achieve a fluent healthcare transition.

SCI Healthcare Transition has already listed a few summaries and quizzes, which help you and your child fully understand the information at every stage. Please visit the website for full information.

Moreover, Transition Care Service for young people with chronic health conditions is also available on the NSW government website.

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