My sister has been doing dialysis for a little more than a month. The staff is continuously coming to me or my sister about doing dialysis at home. I keep telling them no and that it’s really not an option for us. My sister currently has a catheter because her veins won’t support any of the other options. She’s definitely not a transplant candidate. We already know the risks involved with the catheter. We as a family just don’t want the responsibility of having dialysis done at home. We just feel that it should be left up to the professionals. Do you have any suggestions?

I always remember that it is the patient who has the disease and not the family.  The family should be as supportive as they are able.  If there is a way for the patient to do home dialysis, this is the best outcome if the patient is not able to have a kidney transplant.  There are two forms of home dialysis available.  One is peritoneal dialysis, which can be done by the patient at home and usually does not require anyone to assist as long as they are physically and intellectually able.  The other form of home dialysis is home hemodialysis, which requires someone to assist the patient at home.  I suggest you discuss the possibilities for home dialysis with the nephrologists who are caring for your sister.  Peritoneal dialysis does not require a hemodialysis catheter.  Peritoneal dialysis is performed with a catheter placed into the abdomen.  Dialysis solutions are placed into the abdomen through the catheter and can be exchanged either several times during the day or exchanged by a machine during the night.  This could be done without family assistance.  You should discuss the possibilities with your sister’s physician.


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