Before you turn 18, your parents usually take care of your health care decisions.
But once you are 18, managing your health becomes your responsibility. There are many details to consider, so it can be confusing and overwhelming.
Your parents can stay involved if you want them to. For example, you can talk to them about your choices. There are also resources to help you.
A personal health checklist can help you manage your medical needs.
Personal health checklist
These resources have information to help you make health care decisions. They can also help you change from a children’s doctor to an adult doctor.
Please ask your social worker if you need resources for a specific disease.
Emma: My health is up to me
When I turned 18, I realized my health is on me. I'm not saying that my mom didn't go to every appointment with me anymore, but I really had to focus on what my health really meant to me.
Before I turned 18 my mom had to know every single thing about papillary thyroid cancer and what my doctors were saying. I tried to listen whenever I was 16 and 17. But I mean I was a teenager and wanted to just hang out with my friends all the time even though I was sick.
When I turned 18, I was signing papers and having to focus on my own health. That’s when I started to research everything. It really does help to know what my cancer is, how I should be treating it, and how I should be eating.
I'm 20 now. So that's important for me to know for the rest of my life. I'm not always going to have my mom there with me.
College student majoring in public relations