- On July 14, 2017 /
- By davita /
- In Treatment Options
Home Hemodialysis: Making the Decision
Home dialysis is possible for most people, but awareness about this treatment option is not very significant among kidney patients in our country. If you have a family member suffering from kidney disease and has a need for hemodialysis, you should try speaking to the nephrologist about the home dialysis option. Home hemodialysis is carried out in the comfort of the home of the patient and allows him/her maximum flexibility and control.
For both the patient and caregiver, it is important to recognize that dialysis treatment will take up many hours a week. However, home dialysis offers flexibility to the patient in contrast to clinical dialysis.
Home hemodialysis needs the patient to procure a dialysis machine, but this machine is smaller than the one used in dialysis centres. It is safe, reliable and user-friendly. Home dialysis treatments may be performed 3 to 5 times per week for durations of 5 to 8 hours each. The longer dialysis sessions may be scheduled for the nights i.e., the patient can attach himself to the dialyser before going to bed and the dialysis takes place while the patient is asleep. Longer hours of dialysis treatment have proved to improve the patient’s well-being and the benefits include lesser diet restrictions, less medications, better sleep and high energy levels during the day. However, it is important for you as a care-giver to speak with the nephrologist and decide the exact number of hours of dialysis treatment required for the patient depending on his/her condition.
Who is fit for home hemodialysis?
All kidney patients are not fit for home hemodialysis. It is usually the nephrologist who decides if a patient is fit for home dialysis. He/ she takes the following factors into consideration while deciding if the patient is a good fit for home dialysis:
- The patient must be emotionally and cognitively competent.
- His/her medical condition should be stable.
- The patient should have a care provider, probably a family member or a friend who can help him/her with the treatment.
- The patient should have sufficient space at home to accommodate the dialysis equipment, with enough electricity and water supply facilities needed for the treatment.
The benefits of home hemodialysis
The benefits of home hemodialysis are many and are outlined below.
- Home dialysis improves the quality of life of the patient.
- The patient can adopt a more flexible treatment schedule.
- There is more privacy for the patient while undergoing home dialysis.
- The patient has enough spare time to spend with the family or go about his/ her daily chores.
- The patient experiences a sense of freedom and confidence as he/she is able to manage his/her own health condition.
- If a patient is on a more intense therapy combining daily and nocturnal hemodialysis, there is a better clearance of toxins and a better prognosis in terms of survival and the risk of falling sick.
- Home dialysis has shown to improve a patient’s energy levels and life expectancy.
- Last but not the least, home hemodialysis is cost-effective as it saves the patient the travel expense to and from a dialysis centre three days a week.
The Effects of Home Hemodialysis on the Quality of Life of Patients
Home dialysis, thus helps a patient carry on the life he/she was used to pre-dialysis. Home hemodialysis has been seen to improve a patient’s quality of life with fewer hospitalizations and complications. So, if you are a care-giver and want the best type of treatment for your loved one suffering from kidney failure, home hemodialysis is your best bet. You will be happy to see the health results and benefits that home dialysis has brought to your loved one, and be proud that you chose the right treatment method for him/her.