Kidney Diet Tips

Tips and Resources for Caregivers

Care givers, or care partners, are important for people who are on dialysis or even in the earlier stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Care partners can be family members, friends, co-workers or even church family members who work behind the scenes to provide emotional, physical and sometimes even financial support to their loved one with CKD.

Caring for Yourself

Being a care partner can be stressful or overwhelming. If you are a care partner, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Set aside time for things that you enjoy such as reading, walking, resting, cooking, puzzles or whatever it is that brings you happiness. Eating well can support your health, too, so focus on eating more whole foods and less processed foods.

Asking for Help

Self-care is very important, and so is knowing where to turn when you need help caring for your loved one. It is OK to ask for help, or to take the help that is offered by other friends, family or acquaintances. Read “Care Partners: Tips and Resources for Support” on to learn about “care-sharing” and find other links for care partner resources.

Communicating with Care Teams

Another important aspect of being a care partner is openly communicating with your loved one and their medical care team. Maybe it’s asking questions your friend or family member with CKD has not thought to ask, or clarifying information around medications or guidelines their doctor has given. Being an advocate and someone who is present for those appointments can help your loved one get the best care.

If you are a home dialysis care partner, be sure to share any questions with your loved one’s nurse, doctor, social worker and dietitian. They are your medical partners and are there to support you as well as answer any questions you may have. It is important to understand the treatment prescription, medications and nutrition recommended. The care team can also answer any questions about emotional support or share resources with you. Resources for Care Partners has many resources for people with CKD and their care partners. Browse the nutrition articles to learn more about following a kidney-friendly diet and search more than 1,000 kidney-friendly recipes. Sign up for free for a myDaVita account to save your favorite recipes and download our cookbooks. You can also search thousands of foods in the Food Analyzer to see specific nutrients and use the Eating Out Guides when eating at restaurants or even planning meals for the week.

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

DaVita Food Analyzer

DaVita Dining Out Guides

Today’s Kidney Diet Cookbooks

DaVita Kidney-Friendly Recipes

Diet and Nutrition Articles                                                       

Diet and Nutrition Videos

Kidney Smart® Virtual Classes

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Jackie Termont, RD

Jackie Termont, RD

Jackie has been a dietitian since 2007, and has been dedicated to renal nutrition since 2008. For two years she was the editor for the Renal Nutrition Forum, a publication for the Renal Practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She enjoys baking, crafting, spending time with her sons and husband, and being active. She loves to experiment and come up with new recipes.