Volunteers to perform in-home dialysis for blind persons


I am very much interested in finding out if there’s a way that a blind person - who might be medically better suited for in-home hemo-dialysis (better on the body?) than regular hemodialysis but cannot afford to hire a nurse/technician to help him - can find a volunteer or agency that can assist in this service.

This person would qualify for Medicare once dialysis is necessitated - this is a matter of a few weeks. However, I see that one of the moderators (Beth?) wrote about technician non-coverage for Medicare. What resources are there for blind folks w/ limited means (on s.s. disability) to have home dialysis? I am looking at services for the visually impaired, but so far nothing about volunteers to help with this. I myself would be willing to learn to do this for my friend, but I cannot be there indefinitely to do this!

Please help! We’re in Maryland, by the way, in Montgomery County.

Thanks so much!

Medicare won’t pay for a home hemodialysis helper. If the patient has Medicaid, you might want to check to see if Medicaid will. It takes 4-6 weeks typically to train a patient and his/her helper to do home hemodialysis. If a nurse or technician has dialysis experience, unless he/she got that training through the patient’s dialysis clinic, that clinic would want to make sure that the nurse/technician was trained well enough.

There are a couple of clinics in his area that train people to do home hemodialysis. Check the Find a Center database from the home page of this website to find clinics that offer home hemodialysis in MD. Those clinics may know someone who is trained who could serve as his partner assuming he can afford for it.

It might be worthwhile to also think about peritoneal dialysis. I have known people that were totally blind or severely visually impaired who learned how to do peritoneal dialysis independently. Unfortunately, dialysis clinics may not know that people who are blind can learn to do PD. Most don’t know how to teach people who are blind to do PD. Some doctors and clinics might try to discourage a blind person from doing any type of home dialysis.

Here’s an article that was in the Voice of the Diabetic by a nurse from a dialysis clinic in Columbia, MO who has trained people who are blind to do CAPD. By the way, the editor of Voice is a blind diabetic.


Here’s a research report about an Iowa clinic that in the 1980s trained many people who were blind to do CAPD and those patients did very well.