Enjoying the Great Outdoors on Home Dialysis

By Patricia Herzog, RN, from LifeLines at Home newsletter

Spending time in the great outdoors is a wonderful way to decrease stress and get in some exercise. So rev up those RVs, pack up your camper, tune the bicycles and breathe in the fresh air!

Travel is a well-known lifestyle benefit of peritoneal dialysis (PD) and home hemodialysis (HHD). As a nurse, I often have patients ask me about travel in the great outdoors. Going to the mountains, to the lake or to the beach are all possible for home dialysis patients.

If you perform manual exchanges with continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), you have the greatest flexibility when it comes to travel, because you don’t need electricity to perform the treatment. Whether you wanted to stay at a family cabin on the lake or in a camper on the beach, these types of lodging options are fine for people on CAPD.

If you use a dialysis machine to perform continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis (CCPD) or HHD, consider cabins or lodges with electricity as well as RVs that have a power source. Of course, you should discuss any travel plans beforehand with your physician and healthcare team to be sure they know your needs and concerns. Nurses can provide education and checklists to help you with planning and packing.

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