Decision-making About Dialysis: Beyond Just Dialysis or Death

Nearly half of the persons receiving dialysis in the United States are aged 65 years or older. Kidney failure occurs most frequently in older adults, and typically triggers a discussion regarding dialysis treatment. This article describes the journey of Mr. Howard Russell, an older adult who experienced kidney failure and underwent dialysis. Using the experience of Mr. Russell, the authors illustrate the complexity of dialysis decision-making. When discussing dialysis with an older adult, four points should be considered: (1) recognize if dialysis is needed long-term; (2) understand what matters for the older adult; (3) sync the treatment plan when what matters changes; and (4) set up with resources for kidney failure, which is limited but evolving.

Link: Medscape Medical News (8/2023)