Accommodation Ideas for Renal/Kidney Disease
Kidney diseases are diseases of the kidney substance that alter the structure and function of the kidney. There are many diseases of the kidneys such as glomerulonephritis, pylonephritis, polycystic kidney, and lupus nephritis. The treatment and potential for recovery depends on the type of disease. Kidney diseases can lead to kidney failure.
When an individual has mild kidney failure, dialysis or renal transplant is not required. However, the individual may need to take certain medications and abide by dietary restrictions. Dialysis is needed when the body alone can no longer remove enough waste products to sustain life.There are two forms of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis is a process where excess waste products and water are removed from the patient's blood, which is drawn through a special created vein in the forearm, into a dialysis solution. Hemodialysis requires the use of a machine and one dialysis session takes about four hours to complete, usually three times a week. Peritoneal dialysis is performed by introducing dialysis solution into the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity through a catheter. Waste products and excess water from the body are passed through a natural membrane lining of the peritoneal cavity, and the solution can be drained out of the abdomen into a bag and be thrown away. Peritoneal dialysis usually involves four exchanges per day. Accommodations for individuals with kidney disease differ dramatically from one person to another.
Accommodation ideas for individuals with renal/kidney disease:
- Performing/Receiving Dialysis: Peritoneal dialysis can be performed in the office. An individual needs access to storage materials, flexible scheduling, a private and clean area with a cot, and proper biohazard disposal (there are no needles). Individuals who receive hemodialysis benefit from flexible use of leave time, modified attendance policies, and work from home because they must travel to centers on fixed treatment schedules to receive several treatments per week.
- Dietary Restrictions: For individuals who have dietary restrictions, access to a refrigerator, food storage area, and frequent breaks are helpful.
- Fatigue: Individuals with kidney disease and particularly individuals who are recovering from a kidney transplant often deal with fatigue. Possible solutions include a reduced work schedule, periodic rest breaks, a transfer to a less physically demanding job, and the flexible use of leave time.
- Lifting Materials, Products, and People: Compact lifting devices, vacuum material handling, and winches are useful for moving materials and products. For transferring and moving people, patient lifts are helpful. For additional information on accommodations for lifting, visit SOAR's Accommodations for Back Conditions.
- Dealing with Workplace Stress: An individual with kidney disease may benefit from reduction or elimination of stress in the current position, transfer to a less stressful position, flexible schedule to recover from any effects caused by workplace stress, and work at home to avoid workplace stress.
- Commuting to and from Work: Possible solutions include allowing more time for the commute (to allow time for restroom breaks), allowing work at home, and a transfer to office closer to home.