Navigating the Pathway to Care in Adults with Cerebral Palsy

Research has identified that individuals with cerebral palsy face unique challenges related to aging with their disability which impacts finding and accessing appropriate health care. These challenges can be found on multiple levels and include barriers within the health system itself; a lack of adult providers with experience or knowledge in treating adults with cerebral palsy; and difficulties at the patient/caregiver level which can involve a combination of lack of access to transportation, or accessible health care facilities and other environmental levels and/or mental health or cognitive issues that may make navigating the system more difficult. This article serves to provide an in-depth look at the issues surrounding these and provides suggestions for help.

As individuals with cerebral palsy age, they face unique challenges which make their medical care complex. Models of care and interventions that worked for them as children do not exist and may not be appropriate for them as adults, owing in part to new problems that arise as they age.