Leila Cruikshank

Transitioning to Adult Care

Life is full of transitions.  It is just a part of growing older. You transition from grade school to high school, from being a student to working, from being single and living at home to being married with a home of your own. The parents of children with CF are the ones responsible for the medical care, but as the child gets older, the responsibility shifts.  Having CF makes the transitions of growing up and becoming independent more complicated but the pediatric CF team is there to help.

In life there are also moments of transfer - starting Grade 9, moving into your first apartment etc. These changes can be exciting but are also a bit scary.  The transfer from the pediatric CF centre ot the adult CF centre is one of these transfer moments.

Some people may initially be scared and saddened to leave the health care team that has known them and helped them for many years, often since birth.  The transition and transfer process can also be stressful for the parents of young adults with CF. However, it is also an exciting time, a time to celebrate how people with CF are living longer, making transitioning to an adult CF centre a necessary process.  Presently, we care for more than 400 adults with CF, ranging from 18 to over 65 years old. About one quarter (25%) of people attending the Adult CF Centre are older than age 40.

The initial visit with the Adult CF team occurs at the last appointment at Sick Kids.  You meet with Dr Elizabeth Tullis (Medical Director) and Kate Gent (CF nurse practitioner) and a social worker. Your medical history is reviewed and you get information about the Adult CF Centre.  Many aspects of care are the same in the pediatric and adult clinics, in part because the structure of the adult CF team at St. Michael's Hospital is modelled after the clinics at the Hospital for Sick Children. Like the CF team at Sick Kids, our CF team is composed of experts from every discipline who contribute to good quality care.

Click below to read the transition booklet and the transition resource provided to all new patients at our clinic.