Living with kidney disease means patience, courage, and the ability to stay positive during the ups and downs of a chronic illness. This is doubly important when someone you love is diagnosed with CKD. Here are three basic things you can do to show you care:
Learn Everything You Can (From Reliable Sources)The more you know about kidneys and CKD, the easier it will be to relate and empathize a loved one. Learn from others who live with dialysis: how to travel, what to eat, and other lifestyle tips can help everyone live their best life possible. Try these places for information you can trust: Satellite Healthcare’s patient education, Kidney School, National Kidney Foundation, American Kidney Fund, and Home Dialysis Central.
Listen and Ask QuestionsWhen your loved one feels like talking, listen with full attention. Ask questions; encourage them to ‘tell you more.’ It can be hard to know what to say, but what peopling living with CKD need most is someone who will listen to their worries and fears. These conversations help both of you cope with stress and adjust to necessary lifestyle changes. Pay attention to the non-verbal cues as well and actively reach out. An unexpected kind gesture or hug can make all the difference.
Your Loved One Live Their Best Possible LifeCKD and dialysis treatments require changes in how someone lives, but it doesn’t change everything. Most people on dialysis who carefully follow the instructions of their healthcare team have time and energy to do travel, go back to work or school, spend time with family and more. Encourage your loved one to talk with his/her social worker. The social worker is an invaluable member of the team and is an expert in helping patients live their best life possible.