Transitioning care to adulthood
Somewhere between the ages of 18 and 21, most of our adolescent patients will leave their pediatrician and begin seeing providers who care for adults.
Ideally, this will not be an abrupt change, but a gradual shift. It will look different for each patient and family.
Please use the information included here to help you and your child prepare for this transition. Know that your adolescent’s care team is a key partner in this process.
When your child turns 18, they become responsible for their own health care – even if they are still being seen at Mercyhealth. You can help prepare them for becoming a consumer of adult health care by allowing them to manage their own medical needs (filling out forms, tracking medications and making appointments).
What does it mean to transition your care from an adolescent to an adult?
When you turn 18, you become responsible for your own health care. You will fill out forms, make your appointments, stay up-to-date with your immunizations and take your medications as prescribed.
What you need to know:
Maintain your mental health by:
- Recognizing the signs of depression
- Reducing stress in your life
- Embracing the support of family/friends
- Seeking spirituality in your life
Maintain or improve your social well-being by:
- Avoiding peer pressure, including:
- Drinking alcohol
- Smoking or vaping
- Using drugs
- Sexual activity
- Being responsible in all aspects of your life, including:
- Enrollment in school
- Job responsibility
- Participation in sports or other activities
- Setting up a bank account
- Understanding financial responsibility
- Understand the rules of the road and getting a license
Maintain your physical well-being by:
- Setting up general health care visits
- Seeking regular vision and dental care
- Practicing good nutrition and exercise
- Keeping up-to-date on your immunizations
- Setting up appointments with your primary care provider
Enroll in Mercyhealth’s Emmi program, which will give you more information about managing your health. Reach out to your provider for any concerns, and always keep your appointments.