What changes when you turn 18?
Growing up as a child with cerebral palsy it’s likely you had access to a number of professionals to help you as you got older. Occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists and paediatricians. When you turn 18 you are no longer classified as a child, and that’s when it’s time to find out about the adult services and support in your area.
Perhaps you’re off to college or university or taking your first steps on the career ladder? Wherever life takes you as you enter your 20s it’s important to keep track of your condition and continue building a good support network around you.
Why bother with the Annual Health Check?
You may feel fit and well in your 20s, with tons of energy and experience very few problems. But if you are having trouble with equipment, orthotics or symptoms, don’t just put up with it, talk to someone in your area who can point you in the right direction.
Make time each year to run through the Annual Self Check. It will help you identify areas where you might need more support to reduce pain, give you greater range of movement, or fix a niggling issue. No input at all can make problems worse and harder to fix. Don’t be afraid to push for what you need. You’ll learn in your twenties that you need to become the number one advocate for your needs.
What are the benefits of continuing therapy in your 20s?
Regular therapy can:
- Give you exercises for bodily maintenance
- Help you keep your strength
- Stay mobile
- Feel looser and more flexible
- Reduce pain caused by sitting at a computer or for long periods in a wheelchair
- Help you maintain what you have now and stop things ‘getting worse’.
- Improve your stamina and overall sense of wellbeing
- Get to the root of a problem
- Improve your confidence
- Solve issues with aids and orthotics.
- Help you find comfortable equipment
Seek help, stay active
Adult services vary from area to area, but you can find the details of your local specialist point of contact in where to go for help or find support in your area, from services such as your local NHS Pain Management Clinic or groups like Riding for the Disabled. Bobath Scotland are also happy to speak to anyone who has a query about the management of cerebral palsy in adults. They offer a free initial consultation and reduced rates through the Helping Hands scheme.