Transitioning to Adult Type 1 Diabetes Care
Growing up and taking charge of your own life can be fun, exciting, and stressful—all at the same time. Having type 1 diabetes can make the transition to being on your own even more challenging. Remember that although you are learning to be more independent, your family and current diabetes care team can still provide support for you as you make this transition.
As you prepare to make major life changes, such as leaving home, continuing your education, and starting your career (or perhaps all of the above), here are some things to consider about your type 1 diabetes care:
- Am I ready to switch to a new diabetes care team? If you are going off to school, you may want to choose a new diabetes care provider. Or if you have a good relationship with your pediatric team, it might make sense to work with them until you graduate. Discuss these options with your parents and current diabetes care team before making your decision
- How involved do I want my parents to be? Once you choose an adult diabetes care professional, they will be working with you, not your parents. But keeping your parents in the loop may be a good idea. They will probably worry less and support your decisions more if they know that you are taking your care seriously
- How am I going to pay for this? Diabetes management and care can be expensive. Talk to your parents about how you are going to handle this and what level of financial help you may need from them. Find out if you can still have health insurance through them, through your college, or, if you are working, through your new employer
- How will I get the support I need? As you meet new people whom you care about and trust (such as roommates, close friends, and co-workers) in time, you will need to tell them about your type 1 diabetes and let them know how they can help. You may also want to join a diabetes support group. Change is usually easier to manage when you do it with a group. Your diabetes care team may be able to connect you to a local support group. Or you can call your local American Diabetes Association.