Support Starts From Home!

Support and guidance from nephrologists play a crucial role in disease management of CKD patients. At the same time, support from non-professional healthcare providers such as family and friends also helps them emotionally and socially especially when it comes to moving back to their home and work routine when they are medical stable and since a good proportion of patients are receiving home-based care, a caregiver’s role becomes very important.

When someone you care about has Kidney disease, you might want to help but not know how. Find out below how you can help these patients in better management of their kidney disease.

How can a Caregiver help?

The more you know about chronic kidney disease the more you will be able to help. It means having knowledge on what it means to have CKD, how it affects daily life and knowing what is good and bad for these patients.

You can start by making a plan for your patients to help manage their daily routine especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Taking care of their medication schedules and Dialysis appointments will also help them to stay on track. You can also accompany them in their routine doctor visits and note down important instructions given by the doctor and help in implementing them. This plan will work out if you go step-by-step with your patient. There are various ways to get involved. Take it day by day and worry only about what you can control. Go through the following steps and help your CKD patients today!

Knowledge is Power!

1. Knowledge is Power!

Knowledge is Power!

To help patients, as a caregiver it is important to understand what is CKD, what Dialysis is, how it works, and how it affects the patient and make sure that the patient has the same knowledge. Usually it turns out that you have complementary knowledge. By knowing more and more, you may also have certain queries which you can make a list of and ask the doctor in the next visit. As the years go on you should know equally the when, how and why about Dialysis and transplantation so that you can make future decisions which may become necessary with knowledge and understanding. Of course, in the final analysis, the patient must make all decisions in his/her care. Usually, however, families become involved in major decision discussions. Here is what you can do to get complete knowledge on CKD and its treatment aspects:


  • Refer only medical/Healthcare websites and booklets for information collection
  • Make a list of queries and gain a practical understanding from your patient’s nephrologist during the visit
  • Make a group with other patients and families for information exchange and experience sharing.
Happiness is Homemade!

2. Happiness is Homemade!

Happiness is Homemade!

Diet and CKD are closely linked. Helping the person you care for- learning how to balance what, when, and how much to eat can help him or her make smarter choices. Amount of phosphorus, potassium, sodium, fluid intake play an important role in the diet of CKD patients. It is important for CKD patients to avoid junk and unhealthy food and have homemade meals. Here is what you can do for diet management of your patients:

  • Seek professional help - You can help them stay as healthy as possible by working with a renal dietician/nephrologist to come up with a kidney-friendly meal plan which they find tasty and satisfying. Click here to explore some of our Kidney friendly recipes

  • Make a diet plan. Once you get a clear understanding of daily diet requirements of CKD patients, make a list of possible food items that your patient can have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also accompany them for grocery shopping. Click here to explore sample diet charts for different categories of patients
  • Following the diet plan is as important as making one. Make sure your patient sticks to this diet routine and avoids junk and unhealthy food items. Take a print of this diet chart and have it displayed in your patient’s kitchen. Your responsibility is to ensure and guide your patients in taking a kidney friendly diet routine in their hands.
To enjoy the glow of good health, exercise is a must!

3. To enjoy the glow of good health, exercise is a must!

To enjoy the glow of good health, exercise is a must!

Patients do better when they move around and stay active. You should encourage them to stay engaged with their work or hobbies. You can take them for walks, swimming, cycling, aerobics etc. Relaxation exercises could help your patient cope with both the pain and the anxiety that can accompany kidney disease. Many patients have found these exercises enormously helpful in reducing stress and gaining some sense of control over their bodies as they achieve a relaxation response. Also, reducing stress relaxes muscles, which can decrease pain. Yoga helps the mind, body and spirit. Helping them stay active will in turn help them to maintain a healthy weight, control blood pressure and cholesterol, build strength and endurance, build self-confidence and self-esteem and also a better sleep!

Respect the training, cherish the results!

4. Respect the training, cherish the results!

Respect the training, cherish the results!

Family members and primary care giver should go into the clinic with patients and meet the nurses and technicians working there and see how the treatment is performed and understand the additional requirements of patients. You can ask the doctor for the referral to the Dialysis centre where treatment will take place. Visiting the centre and learning about it before the treatment begins will help you in managing the fear of patients related to dialysis.

Write down on a notebook as much as you can during Dialysis sessions and in-centre meetings with your loved one’s treatment team. This way, you won’t have to remember all the information at once. And don't be afraid to ask questions. It’s even a good idea to write down questions that you want to ask the next time you see the dietician, nurse, technician or nephrologist. When it comes to in-home dialysis, make sure you get all the necessary information and training with respect to fistula, Dialysis equipment, handling of the dialysate and drain bags, space requirements of these equipments etc.

Time management

5. Time management

Time management

For a CKD patient, time management is very crucial. A patient on haemodialysis may have to go for 3 to 4 days a week to the Dialysis centre. At the same time, they have to balance their doctor visits and routine medications with daily activities. You can help them make a timetable and manage their schedule with other activities and needs. This may take a few weeks to adjust but will be beneficial to the patient in the long run.

Missing even a few minutes of Dialysis once a month can have an effect on the person you care for, including their life expectancy. You can set reminders for next Dialysis session visit on your phone as well as your patient’s. Click here to get personalized Dialysis session/doctor visit and medication reminders from our team. .Be sure that you reach your treatment centre before time for each Dialysis session/visit. So manage your time accordingly.

Better be safe than sorry!

6. Be Prepared!

Better be safe than sorry!

You want to be sure that you have your loved one’s medical information written down, including all medications and the names of their doctors. Keep it with you at all times so you can be prepared for an emergency—before there’s an actual emergency. As their care partner, it’s a good idea to keep track of their lab results so you can share with their doctor or nurse during follow-up appointments at the clinic

Stepping into their shoes!

7. Stepping into their shoes!

Stepping into their shoes!

It may happen that the one that runs the house might become a CKD patient and needs to be supported. Then it becomes your responsibility to make yourself available in doing chores and taking care of the home. You may have additional responsibilities but you need to understand these changes and ask for help when you need it. But it is important to understand that the family breadwinner needs you at this point of his/her life. It may seem difficult at first, but once a routine is established, responsibilities are divided amongst family members and everyone accepts the changes, it will become a part of your normal life. At the same time, keep your patients informed and involved in the pleasures, activities and responsibilities of daily life. You can also speak to other patients who have undergone Dialysis or transplant and their families to better understand daily home and work routine management

Live for  Today, Learn for tomorrow!

8. Live for Today, Learn for tomorrow!

Live for  Today, Learn for tomorrow!

It is hard to say try not to worry about what might be. That is the hardest thing to do. Enjoy the present. It is important to stay as a positive influence in their life. There may be days where your patients will be in frustration and depression. But it is important to remember that kidney disease is not the end and that these patients are not alone. It is just a part of life. You have to help these patients get rid of such negative feelings and emotions. Your positive attitude will not only help them find hope in the situation but will also positively impact them in the long run.

Hold On, Pain Ends! – H.O.P.E!