When you are deciding whether you want to do hemodialysis and what schedule is best for you, it is important to consider how the treatment will fit with your lifestyle. You know yourself and your daily routine. Taking your personality, strengths and weaknesses into account when choosing your treatment plan can help you be successful with the plan you choose.

Diet

Some types of hemodialysis treatment come with more limits on what and how much you can eat and drink. You know yourself and your habits better than anyone. Think about whether you will be able to manage a diet with strict limits on certain foods and drinks. If you know you like to “cheat” on your diet, a treatment plan that requires such limits might not be right for you. Work with your doctor and your dietitian to choose a treatment plan that fits best with your lifestyle and personality.

Working

Some people like to or need to keep working or going to school while on dialysis. Some treatment schedules allow for more flexibility during work or school hours. Talk with your doctor and social worker about what treatment would work best for you and your daytime schedule.

Travel

If you travel often, you can still do hemodialysis, but you need to plan for it. If you choose in-center hemodialysis, you can do your treatment sessions at a dialysis center in the city you’re visiting. If you do any type of home hemodialysis, you can bring your dialysis machine with you on your trip. Remember that you will need a trained care partner to help you with each treatment. Talk to your doctor and your social worker about ways to have dialysis while traveling and what type of dialysis schedule would be best for you if you travel often.

Finances and insurance

Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurance plans cover most of the costs of dialysis. Most people on dialysis are able to get Medicare coverage, no matter their age. However, depending on the type of treatment you choose, you may have to wait a few months before insurance coverage begins. You may also need to pay deductibles or co-pays. Check with your insurance company to learn more about your coverage. Your social worker can also help answer questions.