Choosing Supportive Care Without Dialysis
There may be times when dialysis isn’t the right treatment choice for someone with end stage renal disease (ESRD). Other critical health issues or quality-of-life considerations may lead to this decision.
If you decide against dialysis, you may opt for supportive care treatments that focus on maintaining quality of life, not extending life. This treatment approach is called supportive care without dialysis or palliative care. Studies have shown that it’s a reasonable option for some people with ESRD who are elderly and/or coping with multiple serious medical issues and who may experience a lower quality of life on dialysis treatment.
Choosing supportive care without dialysis is, of course, a big decision and should be made with careful consideration—as well as involvement from your doctor and loved ones.
Understanding what to expect
Thinking about supportive care rather than dialysis
Some considerations to weigh
- How dialysis treatment impacts your overall health and other health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease
- How you want—and are able—to spend your time
- What will allow a greater quality of life in terms of social life, job, diet, travel, etc.
- Your ability to start and continue on dialysis, plus the pros and cons of dialysis treatment options
- How the ESRD treatment you choose will affect your loved ones and what preparations should be made ahead