Northern NSW Local Health District is helping change the lives of patients with kidney disease by giving them the option to do dialysis from the comfort of their own home.
Chronic Kidney Disease Nurse Practitioner Graeme Turner said more patients should consider the home-based treatment this Kidney Health Week, as it can provide many
“While not all patients are eligible for home dialysis, it’s a great option for people who are after a flexible treatment program,” Mr Turner said.
“There are a range of home dialysis options which have different requirements and benefits. With the renal team, patients can choose which type of dialysis best suits
their lifestyle and abilities in light of their medical circumstances.
“Home dialysis means people can go about their day, and then connect to the machine overnight, receiving treatment while they sleep.”
Dialysis is used to clear toxins and regulate the fluids that the body ingests or generates, where a person’s own kidney function is reduced.
The District has a team of renal clinicians and specialist training units to provide support to patients using home dialysis, including teaching them how to administer the
treatment and self-needle.
As part of home dialysis training, Casino resident, Corey Dunn learnt how to get the machine ready, take measurements and troubleshoot any issues.
“Everything the nurses usually do in the centre, they teach me how to do at home, so I can set up my own machine and solve my own problems,” Mr Dunn said.
“Once I’m at home doing this, I will have time to return to work, and have a better lifestyle. I feel a lot more in control and independent now that I know how it all works.”
Banora Point resident Alby Ross started home dialysis in his 70s. For him, the flexibility to do the treatment at a time that suited him, and the ongoing support, were
major factors in his decision.
“You can do it any time you like, and it becomes part of your life,” Mr Ross said.
“The nurses inspire confidence in people. There’s plenty of support there, and that’s what you need. They’re there 24 hours a day.”
For more information on home dialysis visit: https://kidney.org.au/resources/booksandpublications or the NNSWLHD website.