Healthy Living for those with Chronic Kidney Disease

The more you understand about your disease, the better choices you can make for a healthier, more enjoyable living. Here are 8 tips to get started for a longer path to the good life:

You are not alone in managing your disease. Ask for an In-Home Nurse to Help with your Medications and Nursing Needs.

8 Tips for Better Living

  1. Learn about your disease and make sure to ask your medical team any questions you have at your next appointment. Information is power.
  2. Exercise regularly, even with friends and family. This will help you feel better physically and emotionally.
  3. Find out what your target blood pressure should be and learn ways you can keep it there. This can slow the progression of your kidney disease.
  4. What you eat and drink may help slow down kidney disease. Some foods may be better for your kidneys than others. Most of the salt and sodium additives people eat come from prepared foods, not from the salt shaker. Trying to cook your foods from scratch gives you control over what you eat.
  5. Learn about your medications, their proper dosages, names, and the purpose of each one. In some cases, medications, such as certain classes of blood pressure pills, can slow the progress of kidney disease. Proper management of your medications is critical to your kidney health.
  6. Keep a diary of your lab test values over time and what it means to your disease. Make sure you are one of the members of your healthcare team!
  7. Diabetes is another common disease that accompanies kidney disease. If you have Diabetes find out ways to lower your blood sugar from you doctor or a Home Health Care Nurse.
  8. Do not think that you are alone in your disease. Ask your healthcare team about a referral for an In-Home Healthcare Nurse that can assist you with medications and other counseling needs! Studies prove this decreases the risk of repeat hospitalizations in the chronically ill patient.

Quick Quiz

1. There are HOME HEALTH AGENCIES and there are HOME SERVICES AGENCIES. Which tasks below are done by a HOME HEALTH AGENCY and which are done by a HOME SERVICES AGENCY.
The agency employee…
A.) Reminds the client when to take their medications
B.) Checks the patients’ vitals such as their heart rate
C.) Provides medication management (reviewing the medications with the patient, follows the doctors’ orders, educates client on usage)
D.) Does light house cooking and cleaning
E.) Communicates with the clients doctor on medical condition and reports changes
F.) Baths the client

Answers    Home Health Agency: B, C, E    Home Services Agency: A, D, F

2. One of the Medicare guidelines for a person to receive home health services (nurse and or physical therapist/occupational therapist/speech therapists) is that the person is HOMEBOUND. According to the Medicare definition of homebound, which of the following situations would a person automatically NOT qualify for home health services?
The person…
A.) Leaves their home with the assistance of another to go to church, medical appointment, or grocery store.
B.) Has an assisted device, such as a walker, and leaves home from time to time to walk around the block.
C.) Rarely leaves the home but needs no assistance nor assistive device.
D.) Drives themselves to church, although it is a taxing effort, because there is nobody to drive them.
Answer: Only C would automatically disqualify a person from qualifying from home health services. A person can leave their home and still be considered HOMEBOUND but leaving must be a taxing effort and or need the assistance or another or able to leave with the use of an assisted device. But each case still needs to be evaluated on an individual basis.