Dialysis is a medical process which helps your kidneys continue to function properly. In a healthy man or woman, the kidneys filter your blood to rid the body of harmful wastes, excess salt, and water. When kidneys are unhealthy, dialysis treatment replaces the filtration work of your kidneys. Today, dialysis assists an estimated 354,000 Americans who suffer from kidney failure (end stage renal disease).

For anyone with failing kidneys, dialysis treatment becomes a scheduled, ongoing and very important part of their lives.  As a homecare agency, we will assist and accompany clients to their treatments and help them settle back into their homes after dialysis sessions.

In most cases, acute kidney failure is permanent.  Dialysis is not a treatment which provides a cure.  Rather, it provides ongoing bodily maintenance.   The only hope for breaking the routine is with a kidney transplant.

There are two types of dialysis —

  • Hemodialysis: utilizes an artificial kidney to remove waste, extra chemicals and unwanted fluid from your blood. A special filter removes wastes and extra fluids. The machine then returns clean blood to the body.
  • Peritoneal dialysis: this is a medical process that allows your blood to be cleansed inside your body. A patient will ingest and exchange fluids – usually through a catheter.

Consistent and Ongoing Treatments Necessary

Generally dialysis typically consists of an ongoing, three-time a week regimen. Failing to show for an appointment has serious health repercussions – even one missed session can result in excess fluids in the lungs, which may cause bloating and even death.

Living with kidney disease is difficult. Patients must maintain a very limited diet. In addition, they must keep their salt and potassium levels low (potassium is prominent in fruits like oranges, bananas and cantaloupes) and eat foods high in protein like egg whites, chicken, fish and turkey.

And dialysis treatment is expensive – although through sources including the federal government and Medicare, much of the expense can be subsidized.

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– John D. Miller is the owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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