Talking with Family and Friends About Your End-stage Kidney Disease

Author : Kate Horowitz, LCSW

The day that your provider tells you that your kidney disease has progressed to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), you may find yourself faced with some new emotions, questions and treatment options to consider. Whether you decide to pursue dialysis at home or in-center, work toward transplant listing or prefer to transition to conservative care without treatment, Strive’s clinical social workers are available in every market to help you navigate this challenging time.

Regardless of which path is best for you, support from your loved ones is an important and integral part of a successful treatment plan. As you think about ways that your family and friends can be involved in your journey, your social worker can assist you in preparing for these conversations.

It is not uncommon for people to worry about burdening family members with tasks or be fearful of how their children might cope with the news or changes at home. The truth is, ESKD treatment is much more of a team sport than a solo mission. You will greatly benefit from any additional support your loved ones can provide, and in return, they will likely appreciate the chance to be involved and well-informed.

The more you educate yourself about your disease and the many resources available, the easier it will be for everyone to transition to a “new normal.” Consider reviewing articles from reputable organizations, such as this great read from the National Kidney Foundation, Coping Effectively: A Guide for Patients and Their Families, for additional suggestions on coping with kidney failure.

If you believe that a social worker could be of help to you, let your Strive nurse or care coordinator know that you would like a referral. From financial assistance to community programming and mental health support, your social worker can advise and connect you with the most appropriate resources.

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