At ANC, we understand that the journey of managing kidney disease is not just a challenge for the patients but also for their loved ones who stand beside them. Ella, one of our dedicated team members, is particularly skilled in preparing patients for dialysis and, when possible, delaying its need. From her experiences and the comprehensive support structure at ANC, here are some key ways you can support a loved one dealing with kidney disease.
Accountability and Dietary Support
One of the fundamental ways to assist someone with kidney disease is to help them stay accountable, particularly regarding their diet. Dietary restrictions, especially in salt intake, are crucial in managing kidney disease. For individuals who rely on others for meal preparation, this becomes even more important. By understanding and supporting these dietary restrictions – such as preparing meals with reduced or no salt – you can play a significant role in your loved one's health journey.
Bridging Communication Gaps
Ella recalls a patient who had a very hard time understanding his condition. It was challenging to communicate the severity of his situation until his son became involved. Encouraging family members to accompany patients to their appointments can be immensely helpful. It helps bridge communication gaps and ensures that all necessary information is understood and considered. Educating yourself is also vital. ANC offers an online portal where lab results are posted. By viewing these and asking providers for information, you can stay informed and help your loved one make educated decisions about their care.
Utilizing “Kidney Pathways”
ANC offers a unique resource created by Ella, Jen, and Dr. Doyle called "Kidney Pathways." Pathways provides more opportunities to meet providers in the office, and is aided by a comprehensive guidebook that serves as an easy reference and a check-in device for both patients and their family members. It's an excellent tool that breaks down everything a patient goes through in the clinic, making the management of kidney disease more approachable and understandable.
Leveraging ANC’s Dietitian Services
As we’ve discussed, diet plays a crucial role in treating kidney disease, and ANC offers the unique service of having an in-house dietitian in our nephrology clinic. Our dietitian is a expert resource for families to understand and manage the dietary needs of their loved ones. They can provide personalized advice and support to ensure that dietary management is both effective and sustainable.
Attending Educational Sessions
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to managing a chronic condition like kidney disease. ANC recommends "Kidney Smart", a crash course available monthly to patients and loved ones battling the motions of CKD. Sessions are designed to educate families about kidney disease, treatment options, and ways to support their loved ones.
Supporting a loved one with kidney disease is a journey that requires patience, understanding, and a willingness to learn. At ANC, we are committed to not only treating our patients but also empowering their families with the knowledge and resources to navigate this challenging path together. Remember, you're not alone on this journey, and ANC is here to support you every step of the way.