As teens and young adults move through the transition years, taking responsibility for their health care involves learning certain skills. For example, teens and young adults may be able to learn how to call a doctor’s office for an appointment or manage their own medications. The following checklist helps you to know whether a teen or young adult knows how, is able to learn, or needs someone else to do various tasks:
- Transition Readiness Assessment for Parents/Caregivers (Got Transition)
This short booklet offers advice on helping your family member take charge of health management:
- Moving Into Adult Health Care: What Do Parents Need to Know? A guide for parents of young adults with and without disabilities. (CT-KASA)
The following resource offers families tips on taking ownership of health care and breaking down health care tasks:
- Preparing Students to Manage Health: A Partnership between Home and School (Parent to Parent)
There are mobile applications (apps) that assist with health-related tasks such as taking medications. You can browse app stores for these. Some examples are:
- MyMedSchedule App: Keeps track of medications and lab results; provides reminders to take medications; can print schedules; available for Apple and Android devices.
- MedCoach Medication Reminder App: Helps you remember to take medications and pills at the right time and day; can connect to pharmacy to refill prescriptions; for Apple devices only.
- Med Helper Pill Reminder App: Keeps track of your prescriptions; alarms remind you when medication needs to be taken, when doctor appointments are scheduled and when meds are running low or are about to expire; tracks vital signs and take-as-needed medication; can print detailed reports for health care provider; for Android devices only.
Families may have difficulty giving or sharing control of certain health-related roles to their family member. They may be afraid of mistakes, for example, with taking medications. Or it may just seem easier to do it oneself. For example, parents, siblings or other caregivers may arrange doctor appointments if they are doing the transporting. It may be helpful to read some parents’ advice on promoting health self advocacy at:
- Parents Advice on Promoting Health Self-Advocacy for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (Research to Practice in Self-Determination Series)
A good general resource to help families teach skills in all areas of life is:
- Ready, Set, Fly! – A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Life Skill (Casey Family Programs)