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A Care Partner Guide for Taking Care of Yourself

Being a care partner for someone who has kidney disease, is on dialysis or is pursuing a kidney transplant can be a big responsibility and life change. It’s important to take care of yourself, too, so you can be your best self for your loved one. Here are some self-care ideas for care partners.

  • Make time for yourself — whether it’s going for a walk, reading a book, getting coffee with a friend, etc. Looking after your own physical and mental health helps you refuel and maintain a healthy perspective.
  • Talk to other care partners. There are care partners around the world who are in the same position as you. Family Caregivers Online, Family Caregiver Alliance and Caregiver Action Network all offer free online support groups, trainings and other resources for care partners.
  • Set boundaries. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, see if a family member or friend can take over care partner duties for a day or two so you can recharge and do some activities you enjoy. You can also look into respite care options for extra help.
  • Communicate your needs to your loved one. You are not expected to carry the weight of being a care partner alone. Talk about the difficult aspects of your role with your loved one so they understand how this journey is affecting you.
  • Find your own care partner(s). Supporting someone with kidney failure is no small task. Create your own support team, which may consist of family, friends, clergy members, pets, etc.
  • Download the DaVita Care Connect® app if your loved one is a home dialysis patient. With the app, you can get reminders, see your loved one’s lab work, send messages to their care team and more. You can also help your loved one join a virtual support group through the app, so they can connect with other home dialysis patients. Learn more about DaVita Care Connect here.

Talk with your loved one and their care team to figure out all the ways you can care for them and yourself.

More Resources for Care Partners

Celebrating Home Care Partner Appreciation Month