Looking ahead to adult care

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I​n Canada, young people who are under the age of 18 receive specialized healthcare at paediatric (children's) hospitals. If you were diagnosed with chronic pain when you were under the age of 18, you may have been treated at a pain clinic that is part of a paediatric hospital.

At the age of 18, patients are required to move to an adult hospital. The transfer to an adult hospital is a single event, but the process of getting ready for this transition takes much longer. Some paediatric hospitals begin to prepare their patients for moving to adult care when they are as young as 12 years old.

As you leave the paediatric healthcare setting, you will need to learn how to advocate for yourself and find your way through the healthcare system as a young adult. You will also be faced with many lifestyle choices, just like teens and young adults who do not have chronic pain. In addition, as you learn more about managing your pain, it will be important to eat the right foods to help you feel as healthy as possible.

The move to adult care can be frightening for many people because they are leaving a familiar environment for something that is unknown. But there are lots of skills that you can master to help you thrive in the adult system.

Many tools are available to help you. These include:

You can also check out additional resources from Good2Go Transition Program​ at the Hospital for Sick Children.

Last updated: May 2nd 2016