For most people with mild CKD (stages 1-3) treatment will consist of adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking some medications to control their blood pressure and prevent their kidneys from getting worse.
If your CKD progresses to stage 4-5 you will need to start thinking about the treatment options available for kidney failure.
Read our guide to living with early stage chronic kidney disease (PDF 4Mb)
Choosing the treatment option that's right for you
At home, you will need enough space to store the dialysis machine and your supplies.
Many hospitals offer home haemodialysis. This gives you more flexibility about when you dialyse - and more independence. You can choose the times that you wish to dialyse during the day, or possibly dialyse overnight. You will be trained how to do home haemodialysis by your healthcare team. This can take between six to 12 weeks.
How will I know if my home is suitable?
Often someone will come and visit your home to make sure it is suitable. For example they will check there is enough space to store the machine and supplies.
You will be provided with most of the equipment needed to dialyse such as the machine and the chair. You may be asked to provide a small table. You will be told if there are any changes which have to be made to your home to enable you can dialyse there. In the UK there is no charge for delivery and disposal of supplies or for any reasonable adjustments made to your home. This is the case in many other countries but you should ask your healthcare team.
Why it might be right for you
Why it might not be right for you
- You do not have to travel to dialyse. You will still have to come to hospital periodically for reviews by your consultant and / or other healthcare professionals.
- In a dialysis centre you will dialyse three times a week for between four and five hours. At home you have the freedom to dialyse more often and/or for longer if you wish. Dialysing for longer usually means that you will feel better and it reduces the risk of developing other medical conditions.
- You may be able to dialyse overnight instead of during the day.
- You have access to telephone support if there are any queries with your dialysis or your equipment.
- You will have more independence and flexibility to fit dialysis around your work, family and leisure time.
- You might feel you need the support of nurses around you.
- You might not have enough room in your home for the dialysis machine and other equipment.
- If you live alone you might not want to have home haemodialysis; some people prefer support from family and/or friends.
- For a few people, there might be a medical reason why they are not able to dialyse at home.