Does considering home dialysis make you nervous? You’re not alone. It can sound intimidating to perform your treatments in your own home. But at Cincinnati Home Dialysis, we’ve seen firsthand how home treatments empower our patients and improve their outcomes and quality of life. Here are a few common myths we hear about home dialysis.
Myth: I hate needles. I’m not going to be able to do this!
This is one of the most common fears we hear about home dialysis. You will be trained by your care team on the proper method for connecting to the dialysis machine until you feel comfortable doing it yourself. Learning how to insert the needles yourself can actually hurt less and result in fewer complications because you’re familiar with your own body. You could also request a specific type of fistula called an AV fistula that allows you to use dull needles placed into the same hole each time you dialyze.
Myth: If I choose home dialysis, I won’t be able to switch types later.
You always have the option to switch to a different type of home dialysis or in-center dialysis when you need to or if you decide you’d no longer like to make home dialysis your primary treatment type. And, dialyzing at home makes you no less likely to be a candidate for a kidney transplant.
Myth: My whole house will need to be rewired and my plumbing redone to do home dialysis.
It depends. Often, any electrical adjustments that need to be made to your home are fairly simple and can be completed during the home dialysis training period. Plumbing work is typically minor as well. It could be as simple as having an adapter installed on your faucet.
Myth: Home dialysis costs more than in-center dialysis.
Nope! Both Medicare and private insurance companies cover the cost of home dialysis, including basic supplies like the dialysis machine, needles, tape, gauze pads, dialysate, and more.
Myth: I won’t have an expert around if I need help during home dialysis.
You will receive extensive training to become the expert. You won’t be turned loose to perform treatments on your own until you’re comfortable and confident. If you should have questions or concerns any time while performing treatments at home, your Cincinnati Home Dialysis care team is always a phone call away.
Myth: I can’t have pets if I want to do home dialysis.
Pets can be a great source of stress relief and joy for kidney patients. If you’re performing treatments at home, just be sure any furry companions stay out of the room during dialysis and that your home is cleaned regularly.
Myth: I can eat and drink whatever I want if I do home dialysis.
The dietary and fluid intake limitations determined by your care team are still in place if you choose home dialysis, but you will have a bit more flexibility with these limits and food choices. Your dietitian will work with you to establish a healthy renal diet.
Talk to your kidney care team about whether home dialysis could be right for you and your lifestyle.