Hiccupping. Itching. Changes in appetite and sleep. These are just some of the seemingly innocuous red flags that might indicate a person is living with chronic kidney disease. And with upwards of 20 million people in the U.S. alone diagnosed with the disease, in addition to many more who are as yet undiagnosed, it’s essential that individuals experiencing these symptoms bring them to the attention of the physician.
What’s the Best Way to Manage Chronic Kidney Disease?
If kidney disease is identified, sharing these tips from the National Kidney Center with the person you are caring for can help them to improve quality of life:
- Become educated. Power is obtained through knowledge, and motivating the person to learn as much as possible about the disease will help with better managing it.
- Gain control. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the individual with kidney disease to be aware of their symptoms, monitor test results and treatments, and manage the disease and daily life choices. As the person’s caregiver, you can empower them to be mindful of their sense of control.
- Stay healthy. Following a diet that’s suggested for kidney disease, in addition to participating in doctor-approved physical exercise and taking medications as prescribed are necessary for the person’s health.
- Be productive. Both physical and mental health are positively affected when the person has purposeful work and activities to do. Help the individual you love to continue to be active through volunteering with a cause of interest.
- Be proactive. Motivate the person with kidney disease to think through a plan for the future, including different treatment options to consider if their condition should worsen or change.
Most importantly for those with kidney disease – or any other health condition – it’s crucial to remain socially connected with family and friends who can provide encouragement and inspiration. As the individual’s main family caregiver, you play a vital role in offering necessary companionship, meal planning and preparation, personal care services, housekeeping, and the many other ways you provide assistance to improve quality of life. Make sure that while you are providing care for your loved one you are also taking plenty of time for self-care, something that is incredibly important but often overlooked by overwhelmed family caregivers.
At Harmony Home Health & Hospice, we work one-on-one with clients and their families to provide education and support for those with kidney disease and a variety of other long-term health conditions. Contact us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE to find out more about how our home health services help families in New Mexico and Utah.