It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed when you’ve taken on the role of care partner for a friend or loved one on home hemodialysis. It’s a lot of responsibility. And it can hurt to see someone you care about suffer from chronic kidney disease.
It is important to remember that while you are helping to care for someone else, you also need to take care of yourself. When you get the support you need, you will be a more effective care partner and feel more fulfilled in the role. You’ll also avoid the stress that can impact your relationship with your friend or loved one.
Balance care partner and patient needs
As a care partner, you should be aware of the responsibilities you are taking on before you commit to this role. These may include:
- Monitoring your friend or loved one’s health
- Helping keep track of their medications
- Helping and being involved in their health care decisions
- Helping to meet their basic living needs, like cooking or cleaning
- Driving them to and from clinic appointments
Once you’ve become a care partner, you may be able to reduce unnecessary stress by creating an action-plan with effective stress management solutions:
- Plan for respite care in case you need a break
- Discuss the possibility of training another person as a care partner to help share the responsibility
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy foods, exercise and getting enough sleep
- Take time for activities that relax you such as taking a bath, going for a walk or listening to relaxing music
- Acknowledge and discuss situations that are making you uncomfortable or stressed
- Build a support system that can help when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed
And finally, remind yourself that you are doing the very best job you can and what you are doing is giving someone you care about the chance to have the same freedoms you still enjoy.