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Preparing for a New Routine on Your Dialysis Journey

Switching from learning about home dialysis to treating at
home is a big step
. Hands-on training with easy-to-use
resources will help you to feel confident doing dialysis treatment from
the comfort of your home.

Before treating at home,
you’ll need to choose an access. With dialysis, your access is
your lifeline for treatment
. Your doctor will review your
choices with you before your access surgery is scheduled. To do dialysis
at home, you will need a peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter or surgically
placed hemodialysis dialysis (HD) access site.

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Training for home dialysis takes time and commitment. On
average, peritoneal dialysis training takes around 5-10 days, and home
hemodialysis training takes 4-6 weeks
. Your nurse will teach
you and your care partner, if you choose to have one, about PD or home
HD. Your nurse will stay with you until you feel
confident doing your treatment at home.

Following training, a home visit from your training nurse and
care team
will ensure a successful start to treatment. Your
nurse will help you set up equipment and offer tips on storing supplies.
They will also watch you and your care partner perform each of the
treatment steps. The goal is to ensure you feel safe
treating on your own.

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Remember that you’re
never alone in this journey
. Your care team is available 24/7
to help you with questions about your health, your equipment, or
anything else you may need to help you feel comfortable dialyzing at
home.

Getting used to dialysis at home takes time. But new routines get
easier and faster with practice. Eventually, setting up for your
dialysis treatment might become part of your evening routine, like
brushing teeth
. Setting up in advance may give you more time
for family, work, volunteering—or a pastime you love.

Preventing
burnout is also important. Consider taking a break by scheduling a
treatment at your center. Dialysis centers offer respite
treatments
, and your care team can help you schedule an
appointment.

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Travel is another benefit to home dialysis. Whether
it’s a quick outing or a planned vacation, your supplies can be shipped.
Planning in advance with your care team is key so you know what’s
possible. It typically takes 2 weeks for US travel and 8 weeks for
international travel. As you travel, stay connected with your care team
by sharing treatment information or exchanging messages with them using
PatientHub.

Being
successful on dialysis means making it fit into your
life
, not the other way around. Establish routines, take
advantage of travel and respite care, follow prescribed treatments, and
stay connected with your dialysis care team. These are essentials for
thriving on home dialysis.