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Home hemodialysis (HHD) doesn't mean you're alone. You have an entire care team to educate, train and support you, and monitor your treatment to help achieve the best possible results. Each member of your care team has an area of focus that aims to help you feel better.
Your nephrologist is the doctor specializing in your kidney care. She or he decides, with you, when to begin dialysis, then prescribes and monitors your treatment. You will likely see your nephrologist monthly at your DaVita® center (or your nephrologist's office) for checkups.
With HHD, you are assigned a nephrology nurse and/or a home-training nurse to educate you, meet with you during in-center checkups, and keep your nephrologist informed about your health. He or she will teach you to do HHD, which takes four to six weeks, making sure you are comfortable with it. Your nurse is often the first point of contact for many of your questions or problems and (in most communities) is available by phone 24 hours a day. However, if you are experiencing urgent medical conditions, you should always dial 9-1-1.
Think of your dietitian as a food/drink consultant to you and your family. She or he reviews your lab reports and develops a diet plan specific to your nutritional needs. Remember, your diet plays a big role in feeling good during dialysis, so it is important to follow your dietitian's advice.
Your social worker helps you and your family adjust to your health condition. He or she assesses the social and medical aspects of your life, then provides emotional support and resources to you and your family. Your social worker can also put you in touch with support groups.
Your insurance specialist can help provide answers and resources for insurance concerns you may have—including financial resources that may help pay for treatment and medications. Call 1-855-5-Dialysis for assistance or fill out the form.
HHD patients have care partners who go through home dialysis training and provide assistance during treatments. Your care partner can be your spouse, a family member, a friend or a hired caregiver. This person contributes to your care every day, providing physical and emotional support.
Your support system
Your support system can be made up of your family, friends, coworkers—anyone who plays a supportive role in your life. These people are the ones who help cheer you up, keep you active and are there to help you with anything you may need. An ideal way to build a support system is to confide in people you trust about your health condition and ask for their support.
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