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Is dialysis treatment for kidney failure helping patient's quality of life?

A growing number of the 400,000 Americans currently on dialysis are over 80 years old. Though most elderly patients with kidney failure have a limited life expectancy, many doctors assume that treating the symptoms of their kidney failure with dialysis will improve their quality of life, even if it cannot extend their life expectancy. But new research from Stanford University suggests that the opposite is true. Researchers compared nursing home patients' ability to care for themselves before and after dialysis treatment and found that the patients experienced a significant decline in their ability to perform simple daily tasks, such as feeding themselves, getting dressed, or brushing their teeth, after starting dialysis. In fact, in the first year of dialysis, only 13% of the over 3,000 patients they followed maintained the level of functioning they had had in the previous year. In the future, researchers hope that doctors and patients will take into account all the drawbacks of dialysis treatment for elderly patients, including its effect on their everyday functioning and quality of life.

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I am almost eighty, a diabetic with COPD and heart disease. I have been on dialysis for almost a year, during which I survived a bout of sepsis caused by UTI and kidney stones, also a separate kidney removal procedure. It ain't fun, but during this time I have seen my grandson graduate from HS, visited with my youngest son and his family which meant an airplane trip and dialysis in another state, also went on a short vacation to AZ with my daughter. Enjoyed Christmas with my family, corresponded with all my e-mail buddies, and wrote a book of poems Zen Sum which is available on Amazon. Life is to be lived not endured. I am not saying dialysis is for everyone but it is working for me and I am glad I chose to take it on

thank for this coments,my

thank for this coments,my father that is 86 is have tobe in dialysis but i i" m skeptical about this coments make feel much beter.because i dont want my father have this treatment.thank again

dialysis treatment!!!!!!!!

Im not sure abt others but I can only speak for myself. My grandfather was a dialysis patient and I personally think it is the worst thing you could do to a person. You go to this place 3 times a week from 3-4 hrs a day and then you feel like crap for the rest of the day and half the next Then its time to go take another treatment. I Dont see how this form of treatment is evening help people. My grandfather was on dialysis a total of 2 years in the course of him going to the treatment center they was averaging abt 2 deaths a week. Well Eventually he was one of those 2 a week. And Every week we hear abt someone else from dialysis dying..I would never even try taking dialysis. yeah the doctors tell you these stories oh its for the better of your life but they dont tell you that when you taking the medicines you need to take when you on dialysis that it works against your heart so then guess what after a year or so you die of a heart attack...

I Agree!

I'm not an elderly person, but I've done dialysis for several years, luckily I've gotten a tranplant, (my second one) But, dialysis gave me no quality of life. It didn't do well for me as for some people my age. It aged me, bone pain was aweful. After getting home from dialysis, half my day gone it seemed, I felt like crap. Then it was the couch for the rest of the day. I barely functioned and accomplished anything. When I started to feel a bit better, it was time to go back for another treatment only to feel like crap all over again. A very short window to feeling like I was okay. Not alot of time to do much and feel productive in life. I will never do it again. The second time around on dialysis for me was the worst, perhaps because I was older - my 30's vs. my 20's, I don't know. But, if I lose this transplanted kidney - I will NEVER go back on dialysis again -- so this is it for me! Kidney failure did cause me to have a valve replacement (open-heart surgery). So, the only difference to dialyze while young I suppose is to prolong life until you get a kidney. But, the older you get, you become low priority on the transplant list. All the young ones get called first. It's rare an older person gets a transplant, they wait until they die. So, dialysis to me is useless when you are older. Why would you live the remaining life you have left feeling like crap and in pain. Sure, without dialysis you will sick, but it goes quickly and it is not prolonged.

Not always true. I have been

Not always true. I have been active on the transplant list for 5 years. I started when I was 24, and Im going on 30 now. There are people wayyy older then me getting a kidney much faster.

kidney dialysis

I am 51 and a diabetic, I was just told 2 months ago that i am in stage 4 and should be thinking of what i want to do next. Until now i did not know what to think, pro or con of the dialysis. Now im really scard. My life is really donw to the end.

kidney dialysis...response to Bela-Luna9

Bela-Luna9...I can appreciate that you are frightened about the possibility of going on dialysis and most of the comments here seem to be on the negative side. I would like to offer a comment that is more positive in hopes that it will help you to see both sides.

My father has been on dialysis for nearly 2 years and he is doing great! He is not experiencing the fatigue, the other 2 who commented are experiencing, and I think it is different for everyone. Dialysis really has improved his quality of life. Yes, he does spend 3 days a week for 3-4 hours on dialysis but he feels it's a small price to pay to extend his life. And the length to which each life is extended too is different for everyone. There is a gal he knows who has been on dialysis since she was 14. She is now 42. She is one of the biggest cheerleaders for every one else at the dialysis center...full of positive energy!

I had cancer in 2003. Had to have radiation after my surgery. Everyone I knew, who had experienced radiation, had plenty of horrible things to say about it but guess what? I didn't experience anything remotely close to what they experienced. I did fine and I'd do it again if I had to. You do what you need to do if you want to stick around.

You will be in my thoughts and I wish you the very best!

What a positive post! Thank

What a positive post! Thank you for sharing your experience.

Kidney Dialysis for Diabetic (insulin dependent)

I'm thinking I read your statement one day too late. My sister was trying to make a decision as to whether she should undergo kidney dialysis or not. She is 58 years old. Her adult children were urging her to do it, but she was leaning towards postponing it for a few months. I did not know much about it until today and after reading different testimonies from people who are enduring or did endure it, I am thinking she should not undergo dialysis. She is also depressed with the thought of it radically changing her life. We were all under the impression that it gives you a better quality of life and also prolongs your life. Apparently, that is not the case and now it is too late to tell her. She was admitted into the hospital yesterday to begin her first dialysis treatment. I wish I had read this information last week. Now, my sister is trapped and the only exit for her is death. I'm too sad to continue....

Not your decision

First of all, there are so many comments from people saying they don't want someone going thru this procedure and they are not referring to themselves. It's not your decision! Secondly, you do not know for certain if it's going to be negative or positive until you try! Heck, every time we thought something wasn't going to work or be worth it, why even try then. The point is, that it's the person going through this that needs the information laid out in a nonbiased way. Too many negative people, glass half-empty attitudes and then you are imposing that onto the person afflicted with the bad condition. Just plain idiotic. My father is 88 and will have to undergo this. It's his decision and i will support him either way. If he goes for, and doesn't like what it's doing to him, then he can make the decision to stop and live out his final days without dialysis. No one can place a value on living 'just one day more'. If you knew you could do something to prolong your life one day more, would YOU want to do it, if you had loved ones. Of course, it depends upon your current state and pain and discomfort, but there is no way of knowing until you try. I'm going to go out fighting in this world and still do it with a positive attitude.

Thank you for your reply my

Thank you for your reply my Granny is 86 stage 4 by the grace of God she's been at the same point. I will pray for your father that he continues to be strong. They want to insert a tube in her arm just in case she needs to start.