View from the Chair: A Pictorial Guide to Managing Supplies and Setting Up a Room for Home HD
Last month, we learned what folks have done to manage PD supplies. This month, we tackle home HD, in three sections: Supply Delivery, Room Organization, and Supply Storage.
Home HD Supply Delivery
The first delivery of home HD supplies will be bigger than later ones, but still about 1/3 of what you might expect for PD. Someone will need to be home to accept the delivery in a “window” of time that may be a range of hours. The driver may be late, which can be frustrating. Who delivers the supplies matters, too:
If boxes are brought by a manufacturer, the driver may bring them into the house and put them in the storage room, even if it is up or down stairs. For later deliveries, a driver can rearrange the boxes so the oldest ones will be used first.
If the boxes are brought by a “common carrier” such as UPS, they may be left outdoors—even in the rain. This can pose a major challenge. If a large pile of boxes need to be moved, family, neighbors, or members of your faith community may step up. As a last resort, open the boxes and move one or two bags at a time to lighten the load.
A home HD training nurse home visit can help sort out which room will work best to store supplies. Treatments can be done in a bedroom, living room, family room, etc. Think about whether you would like treatment time to be “me” time or family time to guide your choice.
Home HD Room Organization
What do these rooms have in common? A comfortable chair that reclines and can be wiped off, cupboards or drawers for small supplies, and a table that can go across the chair for cannulation and then hold a TV remote, snacks, etc. The rooms are arranged to suit the needs of the dialyzor and care partner (if there is one). Supplies are in closets and dressers.
Does your home have small spaces? You can fit a machine, chair, and storage dresser or cart, with supply boxes in a closet, dresser, under-bed bins, or divided between the treatment room and a basement or garage that doesn’t freeze.
Home HD Supply Storage
Small supplies can go on shelves or in drawers. Label drawers to make things easier to find.
Still limited for space? Take the bags out of the boxes and put them into rolling bins under the bed or in dresser or file drawers.
Supply storage is more than just boxes and bins. Getting organized for each treatment can save you time. A lot of folks make up kits or packs that gather what they need for each treatment—gloves, alcohol prep pads, needles, caps, clamps, saline syringes, tape, etc.—and wrap it all up in a Chux pad that will go on the chairside table. Doing this once every week or two or once a month can make treatments and travel much easier.