What challenges do caregivers of home hemodialysis face?
All patients who undergo HHD are required to have a care partner present in the home when dialysis occurs. Some patients dialyze at home independently, not needing help, while caregivers/partners aid others. Caregivers tend to be a patient’s spouse, parent, child, other relative, or friend. The caregiver’s burden presents another major challenge to patients undergoing HHD. Caregivers are typically trained with the patient and need to be present during the entirety of a patient’s treatment. One systemic review of qualitative studies showed that caregivers experienced great strain with the demands and responsibilities of assisting with HHD. Caregivers with partners with more comorbidities may feel a greater strain both physically and financially. The emotional and physical strain from daily dialysis can create “burnout” in the patient or caregiver.