Your Home Dialysis Care Partner: Share the Love 

By Barbara Dickhaus, DaVita® MSW, LICSW, Divisional Lead Social Worker

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician.

When hearts are on display throughout the month of February, it’s a great reminder to express appreciation to your care partner(s)—your spouse, siblings, friends, children and/or partners who support you in home dialysis.

How important is a care partner? People on home hemodialysis (HHD), (and many on peritoneal dialysis (PD)) couldn’t dialyze at home without them. A care partner can also give you independence, comfort, hope, encouragement, information and advocacy. And the feeling of being connected to them can increase your levels of a calming, stress-relieving hormone called oxytocin.

Ways to show your appreciation for your home dialysis care partner

February is Care Partner Appreciation Month. Perhaps one of the best ways to celebrate your care partner for everything they do is to take on other responsibilities, as you’re able, to lighten their load a bit. Ideas include:

  • Do the home dialysis supplies inventory
  • Clean your machine after use
  • Weigh yourself before and after treatment
  • Prep your own arm (when you perform HHD)
  • Shop for groceries or make the grocery list
  • Light household chores—dust, load or unload the dishwasher, etc.
  • Prepare a meal
  • Run their bath every now and then
  • Make the coffee

Appreciate your home dialysis care partner every day

Although February is Care Partner Appreciation Month, it’s important to learn that showing your appreciation for what he or she does can be done every day. It can help improve your quality of life as well as theirs.

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