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Dementia sufferer and kidney dialysis

Mrsbusy

Registered User
Aug 15, 2015
355
My Mum has been having treatment for two and a half years for kidney disease, with a few blips that has been controlled by medications and monitoring. The kidneys are now functioning at 30% evidently when we saw the consultant yesterday. He advised us that we need to start thinking about dialysis.

Is it going to be too stressful and confusing for a dementia sufferer. I am told that there are various ways of carrying out the process which I understand, but even the thought of a stent in the stomach or a pipe being inserted under the skin on the wrist will be so stressful for my mother. She frets before we go to any appointments etc, but has the usual doctors coat impact when she speaks to them. I do intend to speak to the consultant beforehand on my own to make him aware of how confused and anxious she may become, but I'm sure he has come across this before of course.

The hospital visit will take all day, three times a week , and will leave her tired and the journey adds more anxiety as she has always hated car travel. I am not able to do the trip with her and I'm hoping to use hospital transport, but I wondered if anyone else had experienced this medical combination. Any advice appreciated. Thank you.
 
Last edited:

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
My feeling is you need to have a very hard discussion with the consultant about your mother's prognosis with and without dialysis. This procedure is very hard for a person without dementia, and can't even imagine how a person with dementia would cope with it. Apart from the dementia and the kidney disease, how is her general health? And how old is she - generally older patients tend to get less benefits from dialysis in terms of extended life span than younger ones.

I realise this is going to be extremely difficult for you, but I'd be very cautious about this option.
 

susy

Registered User
Jul 29, 2013
801
North East
Is there any chance she could have the dialysis in her own home? Worth an ask. Would she be able to do that?? It may be impossible but worth exploring to see.
 

Mrsbusy

Registered User
Aug 15, 2015
355
Thanks for your replies. My mum is 78 and at the moment in herself health wise she isn't too bad, just the dementia which can be bad with hallucinations, repeating etc, hardly eats, doesn't understand TV, and sleeps lots.

Home dialysis is possible but my Dad also has dementia is a real fuss pot, and confuses things without trying! Hygiene issues are my concerns with home as well as Dad fiddling etc and I know I will get calls in the night etc to sort them out as unable to follow instructions, so think hospital will be better.

I too think maybe chat with consultant on my own and was wondering how dialysis is for non dementia sufferers as reading about it I think even a healthy person finds it hard. My mum can't read or write or follow TV so four hours, three times a week will be hard on her own with just hospital staff for company will be so stressful. I have read about prognosis of not doing the dialysis too, as you say very hard when you can't discuss with my Dad or the patient herself. They've been married 58 years bless them.
 

Pegsdaughter

Registered User
Oct 7, 2014
128
London
I worked with a young women who was on dialysis three times a week and it was grim even remembering that there is a long list of foods such as chocolate which cannot be eaten. She was only in her early thirties and sadly could not find a suitable donor. Take loads of advice about outcomes , quality of life etc.


Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
 

Mrsbusy

Registered User
Aug 15, 2015
355
I worked with a young women who was on dialysis three times a week and it was grim even remembering that there is a long list of foods such as chocolate which cannot be eaten. She was only in her early thirties and sadly could not find a suitable donor. Take loads of advice about outcomes , quality of life etc.


Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
Thanks for that very helpful. I noticed that diet is also involved, but it's a constant minefield between my mum and my dad who tries to get her to eat. She refuses so can see is going to be another problem we will have to sort if we go ahead with the dialysis.