How can I prepare for adult services

You may not see the same health professionals when you’re an adult as you do as a child or you may not see them as regularly. It might take time to build a relationship with a new professional and they might not be an expert in your disability.

Be open and honest and tell your new professional(s) everything. You are an expert on your health, so the more information you give them the better they can meet your needs.

If it is your first appointment with a new health professional you might want to bring a copy of your discharge summary, if you have one. Alternatively, you could write and bring a short summary of your disability including past and present treatments to share with the health professionals. You could use a template Health Summary tailored to your disability create this, such as the Health Summary we created or others listed on the Useful Links page. You might also want to think about any goals you want to achieve that your professional can help you with, in advance of the first appointment. You can share these with the professional when you first meet them.

Managing appointments

It is important to learn how to manage your appointments and work with your doctor or other health professionals.

Here are some tips for managing your appointments as an adult:

  • Before you go to an appointment, plan ahead and know what you need to take to the appointment.
  • Think about what you want to tell the doctor, any questions you have, as well as what you want to get out of the appointment.
  • Write down your concerns and questions ahead of time. This can help you make sure you don’t forget anything.
  • Think about how you will get there and plan your route.
  • Give yourself enough travel time.
  • Check the building access and parking and let them know if you need help with access.
  • If you cannot attend an appointment, then phone and cancel or reschedule your appointment as early as you can because it may take a while to get another appointment.
  • If you have a phone, enter appointments into your phone calendar and set reminder alerts to help you remember.
  • Keep track of the names of your healthcare team.
  • Keep phone numbers for your doctor and other health professionals in your phone contacts or in a notebook.
  • Keep your medical card with you. It can be helpful to have a photo of your medical card in your phone if you have one.
  • Keep a list of your medication with you. It can be helpful to have a photo of your medications in your phone if you have one.
  • Bring someone, such as a family member or friend, if you would like someone to support you. You can ask them to wait outside if you want to discuss something personal with your health professional.
  • Bring any relevant equipment you use with you.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions if something isn’t clear to you. Keep asking until you fully understand the answers to your questions.
  • Medical appointments can go by so quickly and it’s easy to forget everything that’s been said. If you’re able to, take notes or make a voice recording on your phone to help you stay on top of everything. Or you may want to ask the person who is supporting you to take notes.


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