How Can I Help a Family Member With Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease can be indicated through seemingly harmless warning signs: Hiccupping. Itching. Changes in sleep and appetite. These are just a few of the seemingly harmless warning signs of kidney disease that may possibly be cause for concern. And with as many as 20 million people in the United States alone living with kidney disease, over and above those who are as yet undiagnosed, it’s essential that individuals experiencing these symptoms bring them to the attention of the physician.

What Are the Best Ways to Help a Family Member With Kidney Disease?

If the person you care for finds out that they are living with kidney disease, sharing these tips from the National Kidney Center can help him or her to optimize quality of life:

  • Gain control. It is, ultimately, the responsibility of the person with kidney disease to observe symptoms, keep track of test results and treatments, and control management of the disease and everyday lifestyle choices. As the person’s caregiver, you can empower them to be aware of their sense of control.
  • Be productive. Both physical and mental health are positively impacted when the person has meaningful work and activities to do. Help the person you love to remain active by volunteering with a cause of interest.
  • Stay healthy. Following a diet that’s ideal for kidney disease, in addition to engaging in physician-approved physical exercise and taking medications as prescribed are crucial for the person’s health.
  • Be proactive. Motivate the person with kidney disease to contemplate a plan for the future, including various treatment options to start thinking about if their condition should worsen or change.
  • Learn. Power is attained through knowledge, and motivating the person to learn as much as possible about the disease will be helpful towards better managing it.

For someone living with kidney disease – or any other health problem – it’s vital to maintain strong social connections with friends and family who can provide motivation and inspiration. As the individual’s main family caregiver, you play a vital part in supplying necessary camaraderie, meal planning and preparation, personal care services, housekeeping, and the many other tasks you perform to improve quality of life. Be sure that while caring for your loved one you are also taking plenty of time to care for yourself, something that is incredibly important but often overlooked by overwhelmed family caregivers.

At Endeavor In Home Care, we’re here to partner with family caregivers assisting a loved one with kidney disease to ensure the best possible care is provided at all times. Family members can then take the time they need for their own mental and physical wellness. If you need help from a professional caregiver, contact us at 480-498-2324 to find out more about how our services can help. Visit our Service Area page to see if we offer care in your area of Arizona!

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Crafting a Kidney-Healthy Diet for Seniors With Kidney Disease

You’ve heard it before. You are what you eat. And for people living with kidney disease, it’s especially important that an effective dietary plan is observed to cut down on symptoms such as an upset stomach, swelling, pain, and more. Plus, adhering to a kidney-healthy diet may even delay the progression of the disease.

What Dietary Choices Are Important for Someone With Kidney Disease?

If you care for someone with kidney disease, knowing the best and worst nutritional choices for their condition is important. For example:


High levels of sodium in the diet can produce fluid retention and high blood pressure, and can force the heart to work harder. It’s recommended that sodium is limited to 2 grams a day at most for individuals with kidney disease. One way to assist is to avoid serving foods that contain large concentrations of salt, such as:

  • Processed or smoked meats
  • Pickled foods
  • Nuts
  • Chips, pretzels, and crackers
  • Canned foods
  • Condiments such as soy sauce, ketchup, and barbecue sauce

NOTE: Pay close attention to salt substitutes and “reduced sodium” foods, which in many instances are high in potassium.


Almost all types of food contain the mineral potassium. Our bodies need potassium in order for our muscles to work, but when somebody is undergoing dialysis, potassium levels have to be examined very closely. Receiving too much or too little potassium can produce erratic heartbeat, muscle cramps, and weakness of the muscles. The doctor or dietitian can determine how much potassium is ideal for the particular person.

Vitamins and Minerals

People with kidney disease might need extra supplements of vitamins to reduce some of the typical side effects of kidney failure, such as bone disease or anemia, but they should only be taken if advised by the doctor.


Although protein is essential in our diets, for people with kidney disease, excess protein can accumulate in the blood. Individuals with kidney disease should consume no more protein than what is required by the body. When treatment starts early, a diet low in protein in conjunction with essential amino acids at ideal amounts during each meal is known to prevent the need for, or at least push back the need for dialysis, and in fact might even reverse some kidney problems.

For more resources on caring for a family member with kidney disease, or to discover how a professional in-home caregiver can improve health and quality of life, contact Endeavor In Home Care online or at 480-498-2324. We’ll be happy to arrange a free in-home meeting at your convenience to answer all of your questions and provide you with the information you need about our services.