Long-term care centres offers on-site dialysis program
A long-term care facility has initiated an on-site dialysis program in response to the needs of a resident.
“It shows the complexity of care available in a nursing home,” says Linda Christensen, director of resident care at Leisureworld Caregiving Centre, Elmira.
“People coming into nursing homes are more acutely ill and do have more requirements.”
The on-site program was started over a year ago to meet the needs of a resident who was in very frail health. At the time he was receiving hemodialysis, which required a trip to the hospital three times a week for a four-hour treatment.
“We approached the family and asked them that if we were trained in peritoneal dialysis, would this be something that their father would eventually want to go to, which he did,” says Christensen.
A staff-member from a Kitchener hospital, which has a dialysis program, spent several days training all of the full-time and permanent part-time registered staff at the Elmira facility in the peritoneal procedure.
Costs for the training and additional service are covered by the facility’s regular financial resources, says Christensen.
She notes that offering the procedure on-site helped maintain the resident’s quality of health to a certain extent, taking into account that he was already very ill and elderly.
“We were able to avoid having him travel back and forth to the hospital three times a week in a fragile state … So in terms of quality of health we did maintain that simply because he didn’t have to go out.”
The procedure was done during the night to allow the resident independence and freedom during daylight hours.
Christensen says the facility is prepared to offer the on-site program to other residents as the need arises. At present one resident could eventually use the program. The local Community Care Access Centre is also aware that the facility offers the program. “So for anybody that comes with the potential for dialysis later on, we can provide that service.”
Christensen points out that for staff recruitment and retention purposes, providing that additional training can be a positive.
“For trying to retain or attract staff, it’s an added skill,” she says. “It’s not something that they’re going to teach people in school or they wouldn’t learn it unless they had the opportunity to provide the service.”
That the Elmira centre provides an onsite dialysis program makes it unique among long-term care facilities. Of Leisureworld’s 20 caregiving centres it is the only centre to offer the service at present. The other facilities are able to take in residents who require hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, however, the residents are required to travel to the local hospital to receive the treatment.