Four things to know about home dialysis
As COVID-19 has made it extremely risky for dialysis patients to do in-person activities, many are turning their attention toward home dialysis. Interest in home dialysis has been trending upward in the last few years, but the pandemic has highlighted the need for home treatments more than ever. For those who are newly considering home dialysis, here are a few things you should know.
You have options for home treatment
Your nephrology care team will work with you determine if you’re a candidate for home treatment and which type of home dialysis is best for you. Home hemodialysis (HHD) can be performed in sessions ranging from three to six hours on the days of your choosing, as long as you don’t go more than two days without a treatment. Alternately, you could perform a longer session at night, called nocturnal hemodialysis, which would keep your days free. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is another type of home treatment that uses a surgically implanted peritoneal catheter to perform exchanges.
You have a home dialysis care team
Dialyzing at home doesn’t mean you’ll be alone in your care. All home dialysis patients choose a care partner to help them with their treatments. This person could be a spouse, family member, friend, professional caregiver, or anyone else you feel comfortable having help you. You and your care partner will be thoroughly trained on how to use the equipment, maintain your treatment space, and what to do in case of an emergency.
You need the right equipment and space
Performing treatments at home will require you to have a dialysis machine and at least a month’s worth of dialysis supplies on hand at all times. You’ll also need to designate a space in your home for treatment that should be well-lit and have a comfortable chair. For more information, check out our post on setting up your treatment space.
You’ll get treatment on your terms
Many of our Cincinnati Home Dialysis patients notice home dialysis leaves them with more energy after treatment, allows them to sleep better, and gives them a sense of freedom and leadership in their health care. With home dialysis, you don’t have to worry about transportation to and from a dialysis center where you’d spend hours every week. It’s all about taking charge of your kidney health in a way that fits your lifestyle.