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Getting Prepared for Home Hemodialysis

Before starting at-home hemodialysis (HD), you will train for 4 to 8 weeks with a home-training nurse on how to use the equipment. If you’re doing care-partner-assisted home hemodialysis, your partner will be trained with you. Most people will do at-home HD with a care partner, but some programs allow people to do treatments on their own if they are able to.

What is needed to do home HD?

At home hemodialysis.
Your nurse can talk through these requirements with you:
  • A clean room, or other area, for your treatment
  • A space for your dialysis supplies and dialysis machine
  • Additional storage space for up to 6 weeks’ worth of supplies
  • Depending on your therapy choice, a care partner who will either help or be with you during treatments

How to set up your home treatment space

Your nurse and a technician will visit you at home to help you decide where to set up your treatment area and how to store your supplies.

Your treatment space will need to be equipped with the following:

  1. 2_3_3-At-Home Hemodialysis_GETTING PREPARED_05Comfortable_92x85
    A comfortable chair or bed to use during your treatment
  2. 2_3_3-At-Home Hemodialysis_GETTING PREPARED_09Electrical_92x85
    The right kind of electrical outlet, which will be set up for you by your tech team—which is part of your extended care team
  3. 2_3_3-At-Home Hemodialysis_GETTING PREPARED_06GoodLighting_92x85

    Good lighting
  4. 2_3_3-At-Home Hemodialysis_GETTING PREPARED_10WaterSource_92x85

    A water source
  5. 2_3_3-At-Home Hemodialysis_GETTING PREPARED_07Telephone_92x85
    A telephone nearby so you can make a call during treatment if you need to
  6. 2_3_3-At-Home Hemodialysis_GETTING PREPARED_11Space_92x85

    Space for your supplies and machine
  7. 2_3_3-At-Home Hemodialysis_GETTING PREPARED_08Bathroom_92x85
    A bathroom drain or other plumbing to drain treatment fluids
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Storage space for peritoneal dialysis

5 expert ideas for storing HD supplies

  1. Consider stacking up, not out. Based on your space, you may have the option to stack some supplies vertically as long as they're stable. This could use less floor space.
  2. Maximize unused storage space. Try sliding supplies under beds or stacking them in closets, out of sight.
  3. Store small supplies in stackable storage drawers. Using drawers on wheels will let you move supplies out of the way when not in use.
  4. Order fewer supplies at a time. It’s best to have 6 weeks of supplies at home. If you have storage issues, you may be able to order a smaller amount more frequently.
  5. Unpack supplies from boxes. This can cut down on volume. Note that some supplies should remain in boxes if there’s a chance you’ll return them later.
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