With a Nurse Around, No Need to Panic without Dialysis
Refusing kidney dialysis does not mean giving up on treatment. Kidney dialysis is just one of the few treatment options for kidney failure. Tzu-Chi Foundation (Singapore) and Sengkang General Hospital are working together to provide a care plan called Renal Conservative (Non-Dialysis) Care Programme for kidney failure patients.
Nurses regularly conduct home visits to care for kidney failure patients who cannot undergo kidney dialysis due to various factors. In addition, the nurses would explain the changes in the patient’s health condition to the patients and their family members to enable them to accept and face it more calmly.
Mr and Mrs Pang are a good example of how this service has benefited kidney failure patients who prefer not to be treated in a hospital.
Mdm Lum Kwei Teng, Mr Pang’s wife: He has been sick for a long time. It’s only recently that he can’t walk nor stand up.
Mdm Lum Kwei Teng, Mr Pang’s wife: Get up to have your medicine. Come, one, two, three.
Mdm Lum Kwei Teng, Mr Pang’s wife: He is already old, so I told the doctor to just let him take medicine.
Mr Pang, who suffers from kidney failure, chose not to have kidney dialysis due to his age and health condition.
Over the past year, a Renal Conservative Care nurse has been visiting him regularly to care, monitor and stabilise the symptoms of his renal failure, and at the same time reassure his family members.
Mdm Lum Kwei Teng, Mr Pang’s wife: Sometimes when he's not feeling well, I'll call the nurse, and the nurse will call back to find out about his condition. The last time he had a recurring fever, I told the nurse, and the doctor said that it might be caused by the wound inflammation on his feet and prescribed him antibiotics. After that, he is no longer feverish at night.
Lai Mei Horng, Renal Conservative (Non-Dialysis) Care nurse: We are like the extra pair of eyes and hands to monitor the situation of the patient at home. Without this service, they may have to go to the hospital over minor issues. If the problems can be solved at home, then there is no need to go to the hospital because life has been tough for them.
Mdm Lum Kwei Teng, Mr Pang’s wife: Have to cut this fine so that it is easier for him to swallow (the vegetable). It's like cooking baby porridge for him without any salt and soy sauce. His kidneys are not good.
Mr Pang's health has been deteriorating but he is still carefully taken care of by his wife. The presence of this “friend” by her side has been crucial to keeping her calm and steady.
Mdm Lum Kwei Teng, Mr Pang’s wife: She explained it very clearly when she came. I don't feel scared, everyone goes through this when they get old.
Lai Mei Horng, Renal Conservative (Non-Dialysis) Care nurse: If you inform them, they will be mentally prepared. The care and contribution of family members are very important.
Regular visits and routine examinations, the most precious of all is still the companionship of family members and the medical care team.
One month after the filming, Mr Pang was admitted to the hospital as his wife could no longer take care of him due to a hand injury.