Resources for loved ones with kidney disease
One of the best ways you can support your loved one is to be informed. Knowing about kidney disease, the complications of kidney disease, the treatment options and the resources available can help you and your loved one make educated decisions together with your health care team.
The term “chronic kidney disease” (CKD) means lasting damage to the kidneys that can get worse over time. If the damage is very bad, your loved one’s kidneys may stop working. This is called kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). If your loved one’s kidneys fail, he or she will need dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to live. Learn more about CKD and how it is treated.
AKF offers free monthly educational webinars on topics about kidney disease. These live webinars will feature kidney disease experts who will talk about a different kidney topic each month. See the schedule of kidney webinars.
Kidneys help your whole body work properly. When a loved one has CKD, he or she can also have other problems with how the rest of the body is working. Patients might experience anemia, bone disease, heart disease, fluid buildup, and too much phosphorous, calcium or potassium in their bodies. Learn more about the complications that often come with kidney disease.
If your loved one has kidney disease (but is not on dialysis), he or she will need to follow a kidney-friendly meal plan to help stay healthier. You can help support your loved one by learning more about the special dietary needs of kidney patients. Learn more about the CKD diet.
Kidney failure, also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD), is the last stage of chronic kidney disease. When kidneys fail, it means they have stopped working well enough for your loved one to survive without dialysis or a kidney transplant. Learn about the causes, symptoms and treatment of kidney failure.
If your loved one has ESRD, he or she will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. There is no cure for ESRD, but many people live long lives while having dialysis or after having a kidney transplant. There are many options for treating kidney failure, including kidney transplant and several types of dialysis. Learn more about treating kidney failure.
If your loved one is a U.S. dialysis patient and can’t afford health care expenses, the American Kidney Fund may be able to help. We provide assistance with health insurance premiums, transportation costs, prescription medications, and other expenses related to care. Learn more about how AKF helps patients with the costs of treatment.
Your voice is powerful! Join thousands of patients, loved ones, caregivers and health care professionals and make your voice heard on Capitol Hill. We advocate for policies to improve the health of millions of Americans and their families who are living with, or at risk of developing, kidney disease. Learn more about AKF’s Advocacy Network.