As any teenager will confirm, growing up isn’t an easy ride. Adolescence and puberty bring with them many complicated emotions and challenges while learning to navigate the world with increased independence and greater responsibilities. This stage of life can be particularly complicated for children with learning impairments, mental illnesses and physical disabilities. Their needs can differ significantly from their peers, and gaining independence may not always be quite so straightforward.
In recognition of this we have created an article to look at the transitional period between childhood and adulthood that all families and their children go through, but that requires a little more consideration for those in need of young adult care.
Care – the early years
Many children with long-term or permanent learning impairments or physical disabilities are supported by their family and child health and social care services, or by private carers. But as they get older, growing from childhood to become young men and women, their needs change and they will be keen to find a little more independence in the big wide world. This transition period, between 16 and 18 years of age, can be full of challenges for the individual, and can create complications for family members too, which is why it is always advisable to handle such a transition as a slow and gradual process, allowing everyone the time they need to adjust.
Many children with learning impairments are accustomed to a particular routine, and any sudden change can be upsetting. They might have had the same carer for years with whom they have formed a strong bond, or have a weekly routine that they have grown comfortable with. It can take quite a lot of adjustment for some children to get used to their new way of life, which is why many families find it easier to introduce it over an extended period, starting sooner rather than later, and not all at once.
Young adults who require care in childhood are likely to continue to do so throughout their lives. Transitional care enables them to adjust to their new way of life smoothly and find a care plan that fits in with them and their families.
Planning for transitional care
The extended period of introduction mentioned above is highlighted in NHS recommendations which state that planning for transitional care should begin when a child is as young as 13 or 14 – this way the transition can be an ongoing process that allows them to adjust gradually to their increasingly changing surroundings and circumstances.
It would be typical for a young adult to start to be interested in, or need assistance with, areas such as:
- Housing and accommodation
- Work and first employment
- Transition from school to university or college
- Financial benefits
- Changes in the way the government supports young adults
Specialist young adult care for those in need of it, can provide the support they need during this stage and beyond into adulthood. Receiving care at home is a proven and effective way to transition care for young adults, because being in a familiar environment means they are more at ease.
The importance of good young adult care
Every young adult is different, and each person will require uniquely tailored care to suit them. Mobility, supervision, support, having someone there to talk to as well as respite care for family – these are all available during this time and on into adulthood.
The first taste of independence, of freedom, is dreamt of all the more vividly by those whose personal freedoms have been more limited due to illness or condition. And while you may wish to help them to get to experience it, you’ll no doubt be all the more worried about how they may be able to cope without you. Transition can be just as hard on parents as it is on the children looking to take their first steps into adulthood.
Of course, there are some young adults who will never be able to have a truly independent life, but the way the state looks to support and view them will change when they reach 18, so transition will occur in these areas even if the care they need remains consistent.
Young adult care at home
As young adults are often cared for by, or live with, their parents or their partners, carers can assist with everyone’s needs, helping around the home if needed, or giving space for all in the household to spend time alone. Everyone’s needs are different and it is the personalisation of care that separates the ‘good’ from the ‘exceptional’ in the care industry.
Finding the right young adult care services
ANA Nursing care staff are specially trained to be able to look after any young adult, no matter what their needs may be.
We have been providing transitional care services to young adults for 20 years and are able to handle any situation, any family dynamic and anyone in the same kind-hearted, skilled, and supportive way. All our care workers have been selected for their experience and ability and only the very best will ever be chosen to work in young adult care.
If you or someone you love is currently coming up to or going through the transition from childhood to young adulthood and has care needs, contact ANA Nursing today on 0208 905 7701 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.