Kidney Disease Treatment Decision Guide

Woman inquiring about dialysis

Chronic Kidney Disease Treatment Decision Guide

When you’re facing late-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD) and thinking about your treatment options for end stage renal disease (ESRD), it’s important to take an honest look at your preferences and priorities to help you and your nephrologist determine the best CKD treatment option for you. Remember, your treatment should fit your lifestyle, not the other way around. The more your treatment choice fits your life, the more likely you are to stay on track—and thrive. 

The power of choice

The good news is that most people have the freedom to choose the treatment option that best fits their lifestyle and health needs—especially if they make the decision before reaching stage 5 CKD (kidney failure). If you’re deciding between at-home peritoneal dialysis, at-home hemodialysis, or in-center hemodialysis, don’t be intimidated by an at-home option. You can do it—and you’ll get all the training and support you need!

Things to take into consideration

Here are some lifestyle factors that may prompt a preference for a particular type of CKD treatment from Fresenius Kidney Care.

Treatment that may be right for you

 Factors to Consider At-Home
You are employed or attending school FT/PT  
You often travel overnight for work    
You’re a parent with dependent children or you’re a care partner    
You live more than 40 minutes from a treatment center      
You want to take an active, hands-on role in your care      
You need to drive on a daily basis      
You have pets and want their company      
You want trained medical personnel to plan and administer your dialysis treatment      
You want to be around other people receiving treatment for CKD      
You need help learning, remembering, or performing manual tasks    
You have trouble keeping up with housework and cleaning    
You don’t have space for equipment and supplies in your home
You know someone who’d be willing to help you with at-home dialysis treatments as your care partner (eg, spouse, friend, or care partner)      
You are socially active and want as much time for interaction as possible
You are young and otherwise healthy, without any other serious health conditions      
You have a family member that may be a match for kidney donation      

Considering supportive care without dialysis

Sometimes dialysis or a transplant just isn’t the right course of action for someone with end stage renal disease. There may be various factors contributing to this decision, such as other health conditions, quality of life preferences, or religious beliefs.

Supportive care without dialysis, also called palliative care, is a treatment option that focuses on treating the pain and stress of ESRD, rather than treating to prolong life with dialysis. This is a choice that should be discussed in-depth with your doctor, close family members, and a therapist to ensure a well-thought-out decision. You can learn more about considerations for supportive or palliative care here.

Find the treatment that fits your life. Take a free class!

Learn all about the different treatment options for chronic kidney disease. We’ll walk you through the choices to help you determine your preference.