Caring for Ku¯puna with Chronic Disease

In 2014, the Hawai‘i Department of Health, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion Division reported that 82 percent of the state’s adults have at least one of the following chronic diseases or conditions: heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, asthma, disability, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and obesity. In addition, kidney disease can lead to loss of kidney function and become a chronic disease, which is on the rise in America.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD), is a condition that causes a gradual loss of kidney function over time. The loss of kidney function can also cause wastes and fluids to build up in the body, and lead to other health issues. People with untreated kidney disease have higher risks for developing complications like anemia, bone disease, heart disease, high potassium and other fluid buildup.

“For many people, kidney damage may be temporary and occur quickly due to changes in kidney function from illness, injury or taking medications,” said Marissa Ramos, a Honolulu home healthcare nurse. “If not treated properly, kidney damage can become a chronic condition, often without one knowing — especially if it is related to other underlying conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Regular health screenings and tests are key in detecting risks for kidney disease. We see and often care for clients with multiple health issues, such as diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure or congestive heart failure. We focus on early detection, education and proper care, which can slow the progression of kidney disease and help avoid kidney failure.”

Licensed home healthcare is becoming increasingly more important for seniors needing medical services for CKD. Home healthcare agencies accredited by The Joint Commission that adhere to high standards of care can provide a clinical team that supports medical services treating CKD in the home. Home healthcare nurses and caregivers can work one-on-one with clients to better manage their medical care, medications, renal dialysis and nutritional decisions, and monitor for any healthrelated changes before they become problematic.

Experienced and accredited home healthcare agencies are able to deliver high-quality care and offer critical assessments for seniors diagnosed with multiple diseases and CKD.

“We work closely with family members — usually adult children taking on the role of primary caregiver for their loved ones living with chronic diseases,” said Janet Grace, a home healthcare sales and marketing director. “Our clinical teams develop a personalized, safe and cost-effective care plan that goes a long way in reducing risks for complications and emergency room visits. With CKD, skilled nurses focus on providing ongoing education for families regarding kidneyfriendly best practices and preventative steps to slow the progression of the disease. Working closely with our seniors and healthcare professionals is critical to evidencing better treatment outcomes and a higher quality of life for those living with chronic kidney disease.”


Accredited by The Joint Commission
1580 Makaloa St., Ste. 1060, Honolulu HI 96814
808-739-2811 |
by Attention Plus Care – a program to provide resources for
seniors and their families, instructed by a registered nurse,
who covers a different aging process each month.
For class information on kidney disease and upcoming
topics, call 808-440-9356.


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