Do you have a friend or family member on dialysis?
You may or may not know they have special dietary needs and challenges in their everyday lives. But there are tons of great tools out there that they can benefit from!
I don’t know about you, but I often think about a cool tool or gadget but don’t want to (or just can’t) spend my money on. Enter gift giving! Treat someone to a useful item and make their dialysis treatments and lives a little easier and lot more comfy!
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A slow cooker
Dialysis patients require treatments that take about 4 hours at a time, three days a week. Plus, they have longer travel times to- and from their clinic, as well as other appointments to attend. A slow-cooker is my #1 recommended cooking appliance because they can throw stuff in the pot, set it on low for 6-8 hours, and come home to a hot meal (with plenty of leftovers)!! Here’s a link to a ton of dialysis-friendly slow cooker recipes for you to check out as well. This is the slow cooker I use in my own kitchen!
A pressure cooker
For the same reasons mentioned above, many have very limited time for cooking. While the slow-cooker does help prep before a meal, the pressure cooker can help people make up for lost time when they get home and only have 30 minutes to cook up some healthy high-protein meal. My favorite pressure cooker? The classic Instant Pot. BONUS! It’s also a slow cooker!!
One of the big parts of a dialysis diet is PROTEIN. And keeping in tune with the “they-don’t-have-much-time-to-cook” theme, a blender can help them create a fast protein shake to take along to an appointment. Often times, appetites can be low, which makes protein shakes very helpful to get them the protein their body needs without overwhelming their stomach. This is the blender in my kitchen that has made appearances on Instagram and Facebook.
Their favorite (or potentially new favorite) protein bar or powder
I’m always talking to my dialysis patients about snacking on protein. Ask them what brands they like and get them a special package of their favorite bars. Are they saying they don’t know? Get them a variety pack! It’s a great way to let them sample different flavors and figure out what is good- plus it prevents flavor boredom.
Here’s a few great bars and powders that I love to recommend.
PowerCrunch – 10 bars, 10 flavors; light and crispy, similar to KitKats (This is a top fave in my clinic and my personal favorite!)
Zone Perfect – a 12-pack of cinnamon roll flavor, the lesser-known but so delicious flavor!
Orgain Protein Powder – creamy chocolate fudge!
Body Fortress Whey Powder – cookies n’ creme, yum!
Interested in others? Watch for PHOS-additives!
A warm, soft blanket
Ask them about their dialysis clinic and the first description that probably comes to mind is IT’S SO COLD!! Part of dialysis even includes a lower temperature setting, so pretty much everyone is wrapped up in at least one blanket.
Help make sure they’re comfy for their 4 hour treatment with a nice blanket that will remind them of your love. Make your own or check out this great blanket on Amazon.
Neck pillow with Bluetooth speakers
Dialysis amenities typically include a personal television with access to TV stations- there’s not a lot someone can do for 4 hours while glued to a chair!
Neck pillows are a hot commodity in dialysis, but you can do better! Get your loved one a neck pillow with an auxilliary input and speakers so they can lay back and enjoy the show without straining to hear from the speaker on their remote! I love this one – it even massages!
A cool tablet/smartphone holder
Speaking of technology, this is a great gadget to help them hold up their smartphone or tablet without straining their arms. I know my arms would get tired after holding up my tablet for a while!
I have patients who use this thing and rave about it! So helpful to prevent kinks in access flow (and can be used at home, too!) Check it out here.
Mittens or gloves
Again- it’s cold! With dialysis, patients have to keep their access arm visible so nurses can always see their access site safe and working properly. Hands get cold fast, so treat them to some fun and cute mittens.
Get some disposable hand warmers to keep in their mittens for even more warmth!!
(Why mittens? When the fingers are together, and not separated like gloves, they can keep each other warmer!) This one is both gloves and mittens, sure to keep their fingers toasty warm!
A kidney-friendly cookbook
Give them a pretty cookbook filled with healthy and kidney-friendly recipes. You can find plenty online like here. But if you want to get them something else on this list, save your money and print one for free from DaVita!
Dietitian-approved, patient-approved recipes with pictures. You can simply print in color and put the pages in sleeve-protectors, or even just download and email to them. Simple but thoughtful! Check out all of their cookbooks here.
A unique water bottle
Since their kidneys are not able to produce urine to get rid of extra fluids, they likely need to limit their fluids. Find them a nice bottle that helps with tracking!
Check out this awesome customizable water bottle that will give them feedback of how much they’ve drank. They can set their own fluid goal/limit and watch the bottle tally up each sip. Here’s one that shows exactly how many ounces they’ve had.
Or if they don’t like the technology, a pretty water bottle that is smaller in size helps with limiting intake.
I can’t believe I forgot this amazing idea!! Shame on me. But at least I can get it to you now.
Pill holders!! If you really know your friend/family member on dialysis, you probably see the boatload of medications they have to take. (I talk about some of the most infamous ones in my blog posts all about phosphorus).
Instead of the ugly ones from the drug stores, try to get a prettier or cooler one online! Here are some I found that, personally, I would love.
If you’re shopping for a blood-relative, you are at higher risk of ending up in the seat next to your family member. Get yourself tested for kidney disease. Know the risks and take care of yourself. Keeping yourself out of dialysis is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself and your family. If you are interested in working together to prevent CKD, let’s talk! Many insurances cover preventive nutrition services.