Transition Program Helps Young Patients Navigate Adult Health Care

According to a report by CTV News of Calgary, a new trial program is attempting to make transitions easier for people living with chronic conditions. Specifically, the program hopes to create a smoother transition from pediatric care to adult health care. The trial program is called Alberta Transition Navigator. Keep reading to learn more, or follow the original story here for more information.

Navigating Transition

Change is a difficult thing for anyone. Growing up, too, is a challenging process. People living with a chronic health condition, however, face an even greater number of challenges.

Experts point out that the time most crucial to switch to an adult care health plan is already one of the biggest life changes for young people. The transition from child to adult is already wrought with difficulties such as changing schools, and learning to live independently. Not to mention, treatment, or improper care could put patient lives at risk.

That’s where Alberta Transition Navigator Trial steps in. Planned to begin this month (September), the program will establishes a pair of social workers to assist young patients with the move from pediatric care to adult health care.

The trial program is schedule to operate over the course of three years. Patients between the ages of 16 and 21 will be eligible. The trial program hopes to work with 600 young people living with chronic conditions during its initial run.

A Student’s Story

Keighley Schofield is a university student living with spina bifida. She describes her experiences adjusting to the adult health care system as “overwhelming.”

It came as sort of a shock to her leaving the system she had become familiar with. Since birth she had been around certain teams of professionals. Becoming an adult meant booking her own appointments. And that’s just to begin. Another challenge is the space between her visits. All the clinics Keighley travels too are in different locations spread across her city.

Keighley describes the key to success as establishing a new routine. This worked especially well in her case given the number of new responsibilities she was taking on. She expresses hope for the new program. Having an outlet for questions, and having people there to provide reliable answers is of great value to young patients. Furthermore, Keighley desires for the program to do well such that more funding and more navigators can be added to it. This would allow the program to serve more patients each year. If the trial is determined to be effective, experts hope it will be able to launch nationwide soon.


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