Help finding care for mother in law on PD while away

My mother in law is on PD and has been for about four to five months.

She’s unable to operate the machine or connect/disconnect herself.

I’m looking for someone to help her in the mornings and evenings to help her set up the machine/breakdown machine and then connect/disconnect.

Has anyone found an agency that is willing/able to do this?

Thank you for your help!

Has something changed in her mental or physical status that makes her unable to set up and connect/disconnect from the machine? If she needs retraining, her home training nurse could do that. The nurse could train someone else to do her PD if her status or care partner has changed.

Medicare doesn’t pay for a care partner and most patients use family members or friends to help with their dialysis. There are some dialysis clinics that offer “staff-assisted dialysis” but they’re few and far between. You could use the Find a Clinic database on the Home Dialysis Central website (click on the logo on this page) and look for staff-assisted dialysis to see if there’s a dialysis clinic in her area that provides that. You could also use Google and search for staff-assisted dialysis.

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Nothing changed in her mental or physical status.

She was just never able to set up/connect/disconnect alone and the PD nurse thought that was fine.

We’ve managed to teach her how to do manuals which is what she’ll be doing while we’re on vacation.

Thank you for your response, I really appreciate it.

The important thing with PD (manual or machine) is how to set up the supplies needed and to do connections/disconnections using sterile technique. Does she have a checklist to help her? Did her home training nurse teach her how to do all the steps and observe her doing them to make sure that she follows them correctly? Does she have the phone number for the home training nurse if she has questions? Does she know how to check her drain bag to be sure she isn’t starting to have symptoms of peritonitis? Does she have a way to get to the clinic or the hospital if necessary while you’re gone? Having all this in place should make your vacation and her time alone without you less stressful.

GOOD LUCK WITH THIS IS MY BEST ADVISE! My father has been on PD since August of 2019, I was able to travel From North Carolina to Louisiana once a month in the beginning, about the 1st of October he began having more and more difficulty disconnecting and connecting without being helped to remind him what to do, the memory sometimes slips as I have discovered, as someone stated medicare DOES NOT cover this as a necessity for PD patients, and unless your mother in law or the family has the financial means to pay for it, it is unfortunately left up to the caretaker or family to find someone who has to be trained which takes up to at least a week, even the program which was mentioned costs and again IS NOT covered by Medicare so unless she has private insurance you still may have a problem. In my case (even though I have a sister that lives 8 minutes from my father and I ) it basically took an act of Congress to get help, eventually his niece who live 3 HOURS away started coming up that lasted until the first of the year, then she told me she couldn’t come up anymore bc she has Drs appointments and other things she has to do, so even before the lockdown because of covid19 I have been home not going anywhere or doing anything that doesn’t have something to do with daddy and his Drs appointments or his labs and clinic appointments (he does home PD) it is very hard when your the ONLY ONE taking care of your loved one, I have SEVERE BURN OUT and no one in the family understands what that is, ( is so took care of my sister who passed from cancer at 49 in 2016 then my mother who passed from liver failure (NON ALCOHOLIC CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER) at 74 in 2018 and now my father is in stage 5 kidney disease
All without any other help then what I mentioned previously, God Bless and you will be in my prayers as you try to find help with this situation…
God Bless
Dee Dever

I’m sorry that you’ve been the responsible one taking care of all the sick members of your family. I suggest you contact your father’s dialysis clinic and tell them about his cognitive changes and how that’s affecting his ability to connect/disconnect correctly. It sounds like an assessment of his health and mental status is needed to determine whether he’s getting enough dialysis (kidney failure and poor dialysis contribute to memory problems, whether he could be experiencing side effects of a medication, or something else.

I’d also suggest that you ask the clinic to evaluate how well he’s doing his connections/disconnections. He may need some retraining. Medicare will pay for retraining a patient who has had a change like this or will train a new helper. Medicare won’t pay for the home helper, but it might be worth checking to see if he has or qualifies for any other insurance (long-term care, commercial, or even Medicaid) that might cover the helper. Does he have room for a roommate who could get a break on rent for helping with dialysis after going through training? This could be a great opportunity for someone in school studying for a job in healthcare. It would take some time to screen the person to make sure he/she is responsible.

Finally, sometimes home dialysis is not feasible if PD isn’t working well enough or he can’t do it safely. It may be time to look into the option of in-center hemodialysis.