- On April 19, 2017 /
- By davita /
- In Nutrition
When a patient is diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, it could be the hardest time of his/her life. First, the patient is depressed with the whole idea of having to cope with the disease, then anxiousness sets in about the kind of treatment that he/she is going to receive and if it will work for him/her.
In-center dialysis treatment comes with its own burdens. It may lead to job loss of the patient as he/she has to go through 3 to 4 sessions a week for 4 to 5 hours, which may be difficult for the employer to permit. Travel expenses may go up if the dialysis center is far from your home. The dietary restrictions imposed on the patient may have you spending too much on grocery, and cooking might become difficult. If the patient is your spouse and you shared housework, then you may now have to deal with all the chores on your own as after a dialysis treatment session, the patient will need at least 7 hours to get back his/her own energy levels. Your social life may be affected as the loved one may not be feeling well enough to attend a party with you. Looking at these consequences, you may opt for home dialysis for your loved one which will not only improve his/her quality of life, but will also keep him/her active as he/she can schedule the treatment to suit their daily routine.
To start a home dialysis program, it is important to learn about his/her health condition from the doctor in charge and discuss what to expect. You may have to find a dialysis center that offers home dialysis options and is ready to provide online help or phone-help 24/7. Some facilities these days remotely monitor the patient’s health condition through a connection to the dialysis machine. Your partner and you will first be trained on how to use the dialysis machine and which pattern of home dialysis treatment will be best suit your needs. Many studies show that home dialysis works best when the patient is able to do most of the treatment procedures by himself/herself. However, if you feel less confident, you can ask for a dialysis technician to come home and perform the dialysis procedure till your partner and you learn the ropes of the procedure.
Besides training and monitoring patients’ health conditions remotely, a good dialysis center should be able to help install, maintain and trouble-shoot any problems related to the dialysis machine. You should be able to reach the doctor online in case of any emergency or if you want clear doubts about some symptoms that the patient is experiencing at any time. If the nephrologist makes regular home visits it is even better. Also, you should make sure that the treatment is cost-effective and the equipment and supplies needed for home dialysis are priced affordably.
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 center three days a week.