Kidney failure, also known as renal failure or renal insufficiency it is when the kidneys fail to filter metabolic wastes from the blood. Long-term kidney problems are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, renal failure, diabetes, decreased cognitive performance, coma and death.
When your loved one is diagnosed with kidney failure
You have to understand that when your loved ones kidneys have lost the capacity to eliminate wastes from the body. This condition can either creep in slowly or can be a sudden development. In either of the cases, you have to realize that your aging loved one is in for serious trouble, as kidney failure is not a normal occurrence.
Caring for aging loved one with kidney failure become necessary, as there are many things that need to be taken care of. From dietary changes to fluid intake, medications and doctor appointments, there are a lot of things that caregivers should take note of. However, knowing about kidney failure becomes important if we wish to take good care to our aging parents.
Understanding kidney failure
Kidney failure is a serious problem; over 48% of 500,000 Americans aged 60 years and above suffer from it. If kidney failure is left untreated, it can have serious consequences. Therefore, understanding the disease and its treatment methods becomes very important. Quick initiation of treatment can help in the better prognosis of the disease.
There are 3 types of treatment options available for treating kidney failure.
Hemodialysis: A type of dialysis, which is done twice a week either at home or the medical center.
Peritoneal dialysis: This type of dialysis can be done anywhere, wherever the clean place is available for exchanging the bags. The two types of peritoneal dialysis include automated peritoneal dialysis, which involves the use of the machine and continuous peritoneal dialysis, which does not require any machine.
Kidney transplant: Kidney transplant is usually the last option when no other treatment methods are effective enough to bring about the desired outcome.
The above-mentioned treatment options for kidney failure do not cure the disease. These are only ways of effectively managing the kidney function. In other words, these treatment options, help carry out the function of kidneys externally. The type of treatment option can be decided by the doctor depending upon the degree of the problem and the kind of lifestyle your senior parents are habituated to.
Signs and symptoms of kidney disease
Many times our aging loved ones are not aware of the fact that they are suffering from the chronic renal disease. So, here is a checklist of symptoms to help them understand the warning signs our body throws when something is wrong with our kidneys.
Symptoms of kidney illness:
High blood pressure
There is a sudden change in the frequency of urination
Change in the ability to concentrate
Lack of appetite
Shortness of breath
Pain in the kidney area
Blood in urine
The mouth develops a metallic taste along with bad breath
Vomiting accompanied by nausea
Ways to care for senior parents with kidney failure
Caring for an aging loved one with kidney failure is a pretty tricky task, as there are many things that caregivers should take note of. Of the many things that require attention, caregivers should mainly focus on the diet and fluid intake of their loved one. Since the kidneys are affected the elimination of waste is reduced to hardly any. As a result, there is water retention, due to which the water intake is restricted. Furthermore, there is also a restriction of the diet of the individuals, as the sodium and potassium levels have to be strictly controlled. Therefore, caregivers are advised to carefully monitor these two aspects.
The various ways to help with kidney failure:
Ask your loved one to quit smoking. This is because poorly managed hypertension and diabetes are some of the major culprits of kidney failure and smoking contributing to both. Therefore, senior parents are advised against smoking.
Stop alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption is also considered to be the major reason behind kidney failure. Consuming more than 2 glasses of alcohol each day can disrupt the kidney functioning. Furthermore, if our loved one continues to consume alcohol even after kidney failure, then it can also significantly lessen the effect of dialysis and medications. Also, it would induce serious consequences.
Diet changes need to be made. Significant changes in the diet need to be made. For example – the sodium, potassium and protein intake need to be limited since the electrolyte balance is hampered due to kidney dysfunction. A salt-free diet is difficult to maintain, therefore, encourage the use of fresh herbs and other spices to make their diet interesting. Processed foods should be strictly avoided, as they contain large amounts of sodium and phosphorus, which may further aggravate the condition.
Start an exercise regimen: Encourage your loved one to exercise. Relaxation exercises are a great way to deal with the pain and anxiety that accompany kidney failure. Staying relaxed and stress-free is very essential to ensure the treatments have the desired effect.Caregivers are expected to carry out the above-mentioned guidelines, to help their aging loved ones gracefully deal with the condition of kidney failure.
Kidney Disease Signs and Symptoms
About the Author
My name is Tena L. Scallan and I am now offering consulting services on my blog http://www.theultimatecaregivingexpert.com through an Ask A Question button to answer any caregiving question. I am working out of Miramar Beach, Florida to serve everyone in the United States. Caregiving can be very stressful and sudden. The more you know, the more you can help. Please let me help you give your loved one tender loving care.
I am here to serve children of senior parents, and caregivers themselves. I would like to create a plan of action with advice and a strategy focused on how to best meet the challenges of your loved one’s needs on anything and everything caregiving related.
I am a passionate healthcare professional, business owner and best selling published author with over 25 years of experience in caregiving. I have dedicated my life’s work to caregiving. I firmly believe that both home and lifestyle can be preserved in-home with compassionate caregiving in the face of aging or illness.
EGAN Home Health and Hospice site now available in 50+ Languages
EGAN Home Health and Hospice has upgraded its website such that the website is available in Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese and more than 50 other languages. Chances are, no matter a website visitor’s native language, they’ll be able to view http://eganhealthcare.com/ in their native language.
With New Orleans demographically being a melting pot in the truest sense, it made sense that EGAN make sure that all of their potential patients, customers and their respective families be able to access the company’s site and have no doubt about the meaning of any of the contents of the website.
The translator automatically detects the native language of the user using the browser accessing the site, then automatically translates the language content of the site to language of the user, requiring no action of behalf of the user to view the site in their native language. If the user wishes to switch languages for whatever reason, they can do so using the easy-to-use widget located at the top of the right navigation bar.
The technology used to create the translator is owned by Microsoft and provided by Bing.
EGAN has a myriad of patients of Hispanic and Asian decent (particularly Vietnamese). The translator widget was designed to make the website easy to use for all its visitors regardless of what language they speak.
EGAN is currently working on getting Spanish, Vietnamese and possibly other languages available for closed captioning for the company’s YouTube videos.
Survey for visitors to EGAN Home Health and Hospice‘s primary website, EganHealthcare.com. The survey is designed to find out from visitors whether or not their needs are being met with the current site, and if not what could be improved.
At some point someone who completes the survey will be chosen at random to receive a prize. The prize is a $50 Amazon gift card, and the winner is randomly selected, not based at all on respondents’ responses.
Visitors may fill out the survey below.
If asked for a password, please enter EGAN1234 for the password (letters are case-sensitive).
Below is a real letter from a patient who had to endure the first part of a two-part total hip replacement. His expectations were low going in, but he had such a good experience with EGAN Home Health and Hospice’s nurses and physical therapists he has asked for EGAN to provide his requisite care when he has the second surgery. This is the letter exactly as it was received. Only the names have been redacted to protect the privacy of all persons involved.
My name is ###### #. ###### and I am a current patient of Dr. #### ######’s, ####### Orthopedics. I recently had the first of two, total hip replacements, performed by Dr. ######.
Let me provide you with a quick summary on me. I have been a Police Officer for 25 years now, blessed to be a Lieutenant at this point serving in ######## Parish. I lived with debilitating pain for years having deteriorating cushion material in my hip joints. This lead to bone-on-bone excruciating pain for me. I am a proud and determined man in my career field. But this stubbornness had me in both denial and hesitation for years to do anything about my condition. You see, turning 50 years old this past March, I had never had surgery in my life before. I had allot to mentally conquer finding the right surgeon to fix me.
Doing what I do for a living, it is very difficult for me to trust anyone. And my personal experience with home health care was not a good point of reference. I saw my grandmother after Katrina receive home health care, and my observations of her care givers was negative, in both their aptitude and attitude.
After my surgery, Egan Home Health care was assigned to me. I will not lie, I was not expecting much in terms of service or treatment. This is the reason I am writing to you today.
##### #### was my home physical therapist. He called me before every visit giving an estimation to his time of arrival at my house. He was attentive and always on time as stated. I stressed to him as a man who leads by example, I wanted to be stronger and faster in my recovery than what was the norm. ##### tempered my requests for myself, with both knowledge and experience.
My assigned home health care nurse was #### ##########. I had numerous concerns relative to my exiting condition after surgery. Not knowing what to expect with no previous surgery history, I was worried. Each and every time I expressed a concern of my health, #### had an answer that calmed me down and gave me a relation of circumstance to my recovery. She was open and willing to discuss my condition with my wife, who in turn works in Hyperbarics for Ochsner Hospital. I truly felt as though she didn’t “sugar coat” her answers to my questions. She showed both a caring and professional demeanor with me at all times.
I wanted you and your company to know that Egan has changed my perception of Home Health Care from negative to completely positive! So much so, that I am formally requesting that both these individuals, #### and #####, please be assigned to my second surgery rehab in the coming months.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Home Health or Hospice Provider
Every patient by law has a right to choose his or her care provider when in need of home health care or hospice services. Below is a list of questions to which every patient (or family member responsible for decision-making for the patient) should know the answer before choosing a provider.
Not all home health care and hospice agencies are created equally. Some provide better care than others. Some are more available than others. Be sure you don’t get stuck with a sub-par company by asking the following questions before choosing your home health or hospice provider.
How long has the agency served your community? EGAN has proudly taken care of over 150,000 patients throughout Southeast Louisiana since 1988.
Does the agency have a brochure or literature describing the services provided and associated costs? Most services EGAN provides are covered by insurance and/or Medicare. We will gladly provide information related to costs associated with services you may require that are not covered by Medicare or insurance. Here is a complete list of the insurers EGAN is contracted to work with, including Medicare, Medicaid, Worker’s Comp and VA benefits.
Is the agency a Medicare approved provider? EGAN Home Health and Hospice is a approved Medicare provider and we accept most private insurances. Call us (or click the above link in question #2) and we can confirm your insurance provider is one of our approved companies. However, if it isn’t we’ll work with you and your insurance company to get the services you require approved.
Does a national accrediting body, such as the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, certify the quality of care offered? EGAN is proudly Joint Commission accredited and has been for decades (this is a bigger deal than one might think).
Does the agency have a current license to practice? EGAN Home Health and Hospice is licensed in the State of Louisiana by the Department of Health & Hospitals to serve the residents of Southeast Louisiana.
Does the agency offer a “Bill of Rights” that described the rights and responsibilities of both the agency and you, the person receiving care? EGAN Home Health and Hospice offers a “Patients’ Bill of Rights.” Every patient receives a copy of our patient “Bill of Rights” upon admittance to our care. However, if you would like to review a copy we would be happy to provide one to you.
Does the agency prepare a plan of care for you, the patient (with input from the patient, patient’s physician and patient’s family)? Will the agency update the plan if necessary?
Every patient has a personal plan of care which is a complete collaboration between the patient, patient’s physician, patient’s family and EGAN Home Health and Hospice. Plans are adjusted as directed by physician and staff.
Are agency staff members available around the clock, 24/7, 365 days a week, if necessary? EGAN maintains a full staff during normal business hours and an on-call staff to assist patients, physicians, and the patient’s family during non-business hours and on holidays.
Does the agency have a nursing supervisor available for on-call assistance at all times? EGAN has a nursing supervisor available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions or resolve any issues.
Does the agency utilize up-to-date, real-time, electronic records for the patient which can be viewed by the patient’s physician at all times?
EGAN utilizes a state of the art tablet system which allows all of our field staff to update the patient’s care in the patient’s home. Additionally, all lab results, medication records, chart notes, physician orders, etc. are available 24 hours a day, and can be viewed by the patient’s physician and EGAN staff at any time.
How are agency caregivers hired and trained? All of our EGAN skilled staff are licensed to provide care to our patients. In addition, we require that they shadow current EGAN staff, and are trained to strictly follow our protocols and specifications, complete any continuing education and certification requirements, and our Directors of Nursing conduct supervisory visits with staff to insure compliance and excellent care is being given to our patients.
How does the agency screen prospective employees? EGAN requires all employees to pass a criminal background check and drug testing prior to employment.
What is the procedure for resolving problems if they occur? Who can the patient call with questions or concerns? EGAN works very hard to ensure we are providing the highest quality of care to each and every patient. However, we maintain a completely open door policy should a patient, patient’s family or physician feel they have an issue, problem or concern they need addressed. A simple telephone call to our office [toll-free (888) 835-4474] will be directed immediately to the staff member best suited to assist and resolve the matter.
EGAN Home Health Northshore Wins “Northshore’s Best” Award for 2016
Congratulations to EGAN Home Health Northshore and Pamela Egan, NP for winning the 2016 “Northshore’s Best” award!
EGAN Home Health Northshore won the award for being the Northshore’s Best Home Health agency. Nurse Practitioner Egan won the award for Northshore’s Best Nurse Practitioner.
EGAN Home Health Care and Hospice strives to provide the absolute best quality-of-care possible, and doing whatever is necessary to ensure that each and every one of our patients meet and exceed their specific health and medical goals. To be recognized as the best home care agency on the Northshore is very humbling and quite an honor.
Northshore’s Best is an award voted on by the public and coordinated by Sophisticated Woman Magazine, one of the Northshore’s leading print and online publications. Voting is not limited to readers, however. Anyone can vote, and thousands of votes are tallied up over the course of several weeks of voting before the winners are announced.
The term “Northshore” refers to the geographical area north of Lake Pontchartrain. It includes Saint Tammany, Washington and Tangipahoa Parishes, and includes such cities as Covington, Mandeville, Slidell, Abita Springs, Madisonville, Lacombe, Ponchatoula, Franklinton, Hammond and Bogalusa.
EGAN Home Health and Hospice has four offices on the Northshore, including in Covington, Ponchatoula, Franklinton and Bogalusa.