On-site hemodialysis offers patients vital kidney failure treatment at the comfort of their home, typically a long-term skilled nursing facility. This saves on cost of transportation, is more convenient, and has been connected with better status of health because the patient is spared the physical and emotional stress of traveling to and from a dialysis center.
This can be crucial for older patients who have difficulty moving around, or are otherwise not healthy enough to be exposed to elements like wind, cold, or bright sun. Bedside hemodialysis provides the next level of care for long-term nursing home residents who have difficulty leaving their beds or rooms.
Kidney disease is very prevalent in the United States, the ninth leading cause of death across the nation. More than 23 million people in this country currently have chronic kidney disease, and 400,000 members of this group require dialysis.
The weather is warming up and families are getting ready for wedding in different cities, and this joyous time is tinged with a sadness that a loved one with kidney failure will not be able to travel to attend. After all, hemodialysis typically takes a few hours and is done several days a week. However, with some planning, you may be able to take your loved one with you on a fun family trip.
The first step to traveling with a parent or loved one who requires dialysis is to speak to their doctor. There are many reasons why they may not be healthy enough to travel, and only a medical professional would be able to properly assess that.
Check into the health insurance situation to see what is covered. Some insurance, including Medicare, may not cover dialysis treatment at a location different from their “home” center. Same goes for “home” centers that are long-term care facilities. In that case, you may have to pay for treatment out-of-pocket.
You may want to think twice about doing home hemodialysis while on vacation. Whether or not your parent has home hemodialysis, a treatment center may be the better option because you will not have to transport dialysis equipment, which can be expensive if flying, but more importantly it can get damaged. Again, this is a conversation to have with the doctor. You should also speak with the hemodialysis team at the long-term care home or dialysis center to gain some insight and get recommendations. Even if your parent prefers home hemodialysis while traveling, contact the nearest hemodialysis center when you arrive at your destination to find out what emergency care they offer and the procedure, just in case.