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Enjoy life with dialysis

Chronic kidney disease does not mean the end of a fulfilling life. Try to maintain an optimistic mindset and make the most of what lies ahead. We have put together some points regarding important elements of everyday life.

Partner and family

Your family, partner, and friends are also affected by your diagnosis. The changes in your lifestyle are perceived by those around you. Don't exclude yourself, be open about your illness and involve the people who are important to you during these times.

Even the closest family members do not have the ability to read your mind. Expressing your needs is good for you. With the stress of kidney disease, it is important to maintain a sense of warmth and closeness with family and friends. Expressing feelings openly and honestly is important to your family's health and emotional well-being.

The following steps may be able to help you and your loved ones to reduce stress:

  • Talking to the staff at the dialysis centers or transplant clinic.
  • Writing down questions ahead of time and inform family members about changes in treatment.
  • Finding out as much as possible about the illness through a National Kidney Association or Society, local or national support groups, written materials and educational classes.
  • Staying involved in the pleasures, activities, and responsibilities of daily living.
  • Finding time to exercise at a level that suits your individual limits and to enjoy the outdoors. Please consult with your physician to find out appropriate exercise options for you.
  • Sharing your feelings with family or close friends and other patients.
  • Seeking help from a social worker at the dialysis unit, transplant clinic, or from an outside counselor if family or personal problems need further attention.
  • Setting realistic goals in adjusting to all lifestyle changes.

Leisure time

Leisure activities are important because they have been shown to increase mental and physical stability and have a positive effect on your general well-being. Find leisure activities that you enjoy and discuss with your dialysis team whether they are suitable for you. Spend time with family and friends, go on trips together and do not isolate yourself from social activities. It is important not to "get lost” in your illness, but instead maintain a positive and optimistic attitude towards life.

During physical exercise, make sure that you maintain your strength and plan regular breaks. Do not force your body too much. The sports which are particularly suitable for you differ depending on the therapy modality. You can find out more about your possibilities here.

Start planning your trip in good time. That way you can avoid stress and fully enjoy your vacation.

Check with your health insurance to find out which services are covered in which travel regions.

Always carry your medication and important medical reports in your hand luggage. That way you have everything at hand in case of an emergency. Transparent zip bags are an easy way to store all your medicines.

Ask your care team for useful tips for your trip.

General considerations

If you are planning a vacation, please talk to your care team about it early. By doing so, it can be checked whether the vacation destination meets the necessary requirements for your dialysis. Temperature conditions in your destination country may also have an impact on your wellbeing due to changes in sweat production. Please discuss the details with your healthcare team.

For your own safety, you should always carry copies of medical reports with important information. Although it may be difficult for you, please remember to stick to your dietary guidelines, even when you are on vacation. The best thing to do is to consult with your clinical team or nutritionist to discuss whether diet adaptations are advisable for your destination country. This is the only way you can enjoy your vacation fit and strong. It may help if you inform the hotel in advance of your requirements, such as special dietary requirements.

  • Step 1: Find a vacation dialysis center
  • Step 2: Clarify costs
  • Step 3: Prepare at home
  • Step 4: During your trip
  • Step 1: Find a vacation destination
  • Step 2: Clarify the costs
  • Step 3: Start preparing at home

1. Share your feelings
Share your feelings with someone - a friend, family member, social worker, or someone you turn to for spiritual guidance. Talking to someone else will help you to see some things differently.

2. Feel your emotions
Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling – without judging or blaming yourself.

3. Focus on today
Focus on today instead of worrying about the future. Being in the moment will feel less overwhelming.

4. Start an exercise routine
Take a short, brisk walk or begin daily exercise. Countless studies have shown the positive emotional benefits of even the simplest exercise. Always check with your physician before you begin any exercise program.

5. Get support
Get support by building a community. People with chronic conditions who have strong support networks live longer and manage their health better. That’s a fact.

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