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Managing Your Time on Dialysis

Many people assume dialysis will take up the majority of their time, however on average it only takes up about 10% of each week. This allows for many hours to do the other things that are important to you – like travel, work, socializing, cooking, hobbies or exercise.

7 tips for getting the most out of your time

Schedule your dialysis treatments

Even if you are doing home peritoneal dialysis or home hemodialysis, having a schedule can make it easier to establish what’s really free time.

Allot time for your full dialysis session

Including travel time to and from the dialysis center, and monthly meetings with your treatment team.

Keep a calendar

Electronically or on paper, so you don’t over schedule yourself, or miss out on something important.

Create a routine for the big stuff

Take your medicine at the same time, keep a regular bedtime, and make a habit of things like exercising and weekly grocery shopping, in addition to dialysis or doctor appointments.

Make time for work, volunteering or a pastime you love

Staying productive can be rewarding in many ways.

Schedule some fun things

Concerts, dinner parties, art lessons, gardening – if it’s important to you, block out time for it. Planning simple pleasures like eating a favorite meal or watching a TV show can help brighten a treatment day.

Utilize your treatment time 

You’ll have downtime on dialysis, so use it for reading, browsing recipes, listening to your favorite music, going through mail, stretching, or writing a journal.

Every dialysis minute counts

It’s critical to plan enough time to complete your full dialysis treatment that is recommended by your doctor. Even cutting your treatment short by 5 minutes can have a cumulative impact. You may not feel the effects of shortened or missed treatments immediately, but not getting enough dialysis allows waste to accumulate in your body over time—which can cause serious health complications. So make the time for treatment!


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