Home Dialysis & You

By Humber River Hospital

Imagine being elderly, and frail, and needing dialysis three times a week because you have chronic kidney disease. That is exactly the situation Mr. D’Arcangelo was in two years ago. He was lucky because he was a patient at Humber River Hospital, which has one of the largest and fastest growing dialysis programs with more than 500 patients. But travelling back and forth to hospital three times a week was more than Mr. D’Arcangelo and his wife could manage. They were exhausted, and the HRH medical team could see that they were in danger of burnout.

As it happens, HRH is also a leader in home dialysis, with 170 patients performing their own treatments independently at home. Research shows that patients who use home dialysis have better health outcomes and quality of life. Unfortunately for Mr. D’Arcangelo, he is, like many elderly patients, not able to manage dialysis independently.

That is where an innovative project started at Humber was able to save the day. The project links elderly patients with a Personal Support Worker (PSW), to make it possible for them to dialyze in the comfort of their own home. Since July of 2018, Mr. D’Arcangelo has been thriving at home. He receives receiving daily dialysis from a trained PSW, and it costs him nothing.

“I can’t say enough about this program,” says Mr. D’Arcangelo. “Dialysis keeps me alive. Being able to receive it here at home keeps me healthy and happy and enjoying time with my wife.”

Over the past three years, HRH has been the most successful hospital in supporting patients on home dialysis with the help of PSWs.