19 Years & Beyond: Emerging Adults

This is the moment most emerging adults have been waiting for: freedom!

The realities for those aged 19 to 26 and beyond is centered on being responsible for their own diabetes care.

This sense of complete responsibility can come as a shock; for others, it is a relief, a moment to be able to do what they feel needs to be done. At the Madison Clinic, we see the full spectrum of reactions to the reality of becoming a responsible adult. We take this opportunity to help each individual discover what works and what doesn’t work with their diabetes self-management. The focus is on the actual person and not how to fit him or her into this big one size fits all system. We specialize in mentoring this special population in how to go about managing diabetes on their own.

We find that some are more ready than others and others take a little more time. That is to be expected. There is no right way or exact management that they have to accomplish on a particular time table. As young adults, there is a moment when they do take it all on like a switch is flipped on. The role of the clinic and the providers is to help facilitate this transfer of responsibility to the young adult so that they will be ready. We find out what responsibilities the young adult is willing to assume and what responsibilities they still want help with or for which they still need a little parental support. (For anyone 18 and older who wants parental or guardian involvement, we will have you sign a consent form which spells out exactly what permission we have with communication regarding medication refills, lab results, and appointments.)

This is a time to try to find a balance between life as an adult and diabetes and how to incorporate what is required for independent diabetes management. We focus a lot on how to optimize diabetes self-management in the typical scenarios such as with work, and/or school, and/or travel and on an average day, from start to finish and how to make diabetes management a part of everyday life without it being overwhelming. It can be a challenging balance, but doable.

Part of the transition into adulthood is to help the process and get needed support. After coming to the Madison Clinic for years, the time comes when life opportunities open up and many of our patients in this age group move out of town or State because of a new job, or work transfer, or school. There is a lot of movement with this group and many are only in one place for a couple years.

What is the best way to make these transitions? One of the roles of our transition program is to help identify a new provider in their new city and/or coordinate care with an existing one identified by the patient and family. For those in the area, please talk with our team about keeping your connection with your existing provider here at the Madison Clinic.

 

 

 

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