Support for Care Partners of Patients on Home Hemodialysis

Choosing to be a care partner for someone on home hemodialysis is a big decision that can help to ensure that your friend or loved one gets the treatments that they need. But with that, comes a lot of responsibility and unique forms of stress.

For all home hemodialysis care partners, it is important to understand what kind of support is available for you, but also what additional treatment options may be available for your friend or loved one.

Care Partner Support

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.

Tips for care partners
  • Plan for respite care in case you need a break
    • Respite care is a type of planned or emergency care that provides relief to families or friends who are care partners to a loved one on dialysis therapy
  • 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
  • Remind yourself that you are doing the very best job that you can
Additional Resources

NxStage Atlas is a health and wellness web site that focuses on mind, body, and spirit and is a great resource for patients and care partners alike.

Visit Atlas and incorporate some of those tips and the ones listed below into your daily routine.

Understanding Additional Treatment Options

Home hemodialysis, as you may already know, is available in a variety of therapy options (frequency, duration, etc.). What you may not know is that, based on the patient’s prescription, there may also be options for treating with or without a care partner.

Nocturnal home hemodialysis is one of those options. Nocturnal home hemodialysis is different because both you and the patient are asleep, removing some of the burden of therapy by freeing up both your days for work or other obligations. Additional ancillary devices and training for both the patient and their care partner are required to perform nocturnal home hemodialysis.

In addition, home hemodialysis with NxStage System One is also an option for some patients to perform their treatments, without a care partner. Solo home hemodialysis is only performed during waking hours and requires additional training and ancillary devices. Both the patient and the care team must also agree that solo home hemodialysis is appropriate.

For more information on the different types of therapy options available visit Developing a Care Plan and talk to your friend or loved one about their options.