Renal failure can be acute or chronic and greatly affect a person’s quality of life. While most people recover from acute renal failure with proper treatment, chronic renal failure is long-term and can only be treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant. The financial, physical and emotional burden of chronic renal failure for patients and their families are huge. Yet, with proper medical care, patients can still have a reasonably good quality of life in spite of this condition. Home care support services can be a good adjunct to kidney disease care.
ESRD (end-stage renal disease) affects one in 1,000 people in the United States. Some 19 million Americans are thought to be at varying stages (1 to 5) of chronic kidney disease. Diabetes and hypertension are the major causes of kidney disease. Trauma, major blood loss, autoimmune disorders such as lupus and some medications can also cause this condition.
Individuals with renal failure experience the following symptoms:
- fatigue and weakness
- persistent itching
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- shortness of breath
- puffiness around the eyes, hands and feet
- increased thirst
- yellowish discoloration of the skin
- tingling and muscle cramps
- difficulty sleeping
- easy bruising
- irregular heartbeat
The list of symptoms is long and it is obvious that renal failure patients experience all sorts of issues that challenge them everyday. While waiting for a kidney transplant, patients with ESRD are started on dialysis. These treatments and some medications are covered by Medicare if your loved one is qualified. Home health support is not covered under existing rules but there are plenty of affordable help to get.
It is important to follow the doctor’s plan of care for your loved one with renal failure. Hospitalization, in-center, or home dialysis treatments are usually prescribed. Personal care attendants (PCAs) or non-medical home health aides can be helpful in assisting an individual with kidney disease at home in the following ways.
- drive patient to hospitals or outpatient dialysis centers for treatments;
- with bathing, using the bathroom, dressing, and overall hygiene care;
- monitor blood pressure regularly;
- reminding the person to take the right medications on time;
- preparing meals that are low in salt, low in potassium and moderately low in protein;
- keeping the home environment safe and clean at all times to avoid accidents and avoid infection;
- be available to talk frequently about negative emotions by the individual about his condition;
- work with the family and medical personnel at all times in everyday care;
- encourage patient to remain as independent as possible;
- respond to emergency situations;
With regular dialysis treatments, adherence to medication, prompt medical follow-ups and perhaps a kidney transplant, people with renal failure can look forward to an active and worthwhile life after diagnosis. Contact a Minnesota Home Care Agency if you think you or a loved one might benefit from PCA Services.