About Home Dialysis
Home dialysis is when people perform dialysis treatment at home. Some people do this on their own, and others have help from a family member or other caregiver.
Studies show that having treatment at home improves quality of life. People feel their symptoms are better managed because the home dialysis is done more often or for a longer time than treatment in a hospital.
Dialysis at home is recommended for anyone who can do their dialysis safely. Your kidney doctor and team can work with you to decide if home dialysis is the right choice for you.
Types of Home Dialysis
- Home nocturnal hemodialysis – People do their own treatment at home for about 8 hours overnight, 5 to 7 times a week.
- Home daily hemodialysis – People do their own treatment at home for about 3 to 5 hours a day, 5 to 7 days a week.
- Automated peritoneal dialysis – A machine is used to move the dialysate solution in and out of the abdomen while the person sleeps at night.
- Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis – This is done without a machine while a person is at work or school. The dialysate solution is changed 4 times a day using gravity.
Peritoneal dialysis is not as effective for people with certain conditions, such as obesity, or those who have had multiple abdominal surgeries
Choosing a Type of Dialysis
Choosing a type of dialysis is an important decision. Each type has benefits and challenges. Home dialysis requires training, and space in your home to do the dialysis and to store supplies. It is important to speak with your family and kidney care team to decide which choice is the best one for you.
Is Home Dialysis Right for You?
Home dialysis is not appropriate for everyone. It might be right for you if you fit this description:
- You can dialyze safely at home.
- You have a dependable family member, friend or care provider to help if necessary.
- You have enough water, water pressure and electricity at home.
- You have enough space for the dialysis equipment at home, including extra chairs, storage and shelving for dialysis supplies.
Advantages of Home Dialysis
For the right person with chronic kidney disease, home dialysis offers many benefits:
- Flexible treatment schedule
- More time with family
- Independently manage treatments
- No need to travel to a hospital or facility for treatment
- More dialysis, which means more toxins are removed, you will feel better, and may need less medication or worry less about your kidney diet
- More energy
- Live longer