Hiccupping. Itching. Changes in appetite and sleep. These are just some of the seemingly innocuous red flags that might perhaps suggest kidney disease. And with as many as 20 million people in the United States alone managing the disease, plus many more who have not yet been diagnosed, it’s crucial that individuals experiencing these symptoms bring them to the attention of the health care provider.
If kidney disease is revealed, sharing these suggestions from the National Kidney Center with the person in your care can help them to enhance quality of life:
- Become educated. Power is gained through knowledge, and encouraging the person to learn as much as possible about the disease will be helpful towards more efficiently managing it.
- Stay in control. It is, ultimately, the responsibility of the individual with kidney disease to pay attention to symptoms, keep track of test results and treatments, and control management of the disease and daily life decisions. As the person’s caregiver, you can empower them to be conscious of their sense of control.
- Stay healthy. Following a diet that’s suggested for kidney disease, in addition to engaging in doctor-approved physical exercise and taking medications as prescribed are vital for the person’s health.
- Be productive. Both physical and mental wellbeing are positively impacted when the person has meaningful work and activities to do. Help the person you love to remain active by volunteering with a cause of interest.
- Remain proactive. Encourage the person with kidney disease to think through a plan for the future, including different treatment choices to start thinking about if their condition should change or worsen.
Most importantly for someone with kidney disease – or any other health condition – it’s imperative to continue to be socially connected with family and friends who can provide support and inspiration. As the individual’s primary family caregiver, you play a vital part in delivering necessary camaraderie, meal planning and preparation, personal care services, housekeeping, and the many other ways you provide assistance to improve quality of life. Be sure that while you are caring for your loved one you are also taking plenty of time to care for yourself, something that is incredibly important but often overlooked by busy family caregivers.
At CareFor , we’re here to partner with family caregivers to ensure the best possible care is provided at all times, while family members take the time away they need for their own mental and physical wellbeing. Call us at (512) 338-4533 to find out more about how we can help. Visit our Service Area page to see if our services are available in your location.