Kidney patient care
Your Tasmanian kidney care team comprises a team of dedicated staff providing many services and supports for you to manage your chronic kidney disease and treatments.
Pharmacy and medication management
People living with kidney disease often need to take a range of prescription medications and it can be sometimes overwhelming.
Pharmacists have specialist medicines knowledge and can help you with questions and problems you maybe experiencing with your tablets. They can work with you, your doctors, nurses, and community pharmacists to help you get the best from the medicines you are prescribed.
Just ask your kidney doctor for a referral to speak with us and we look froward to helping you. This is a free service for renal patients.
Questions you might have for the pharmacist include:
- What is my medicine for?
- When is the best time to take my medicine?
- Are there any unwanted side effects I can expect to experience? Is there anything I can do to reduce these unwanted effects?
- How do store my medicines?
- Is there anything I need to avoid whilst on a certain medicine?
- Is it safe to take “over the counter” medicines with my prescribed medicines?
People living with chronic kidney disease can at times experience a range of difficult thoughts and feelings including:
- shock, worry and disbelief
- stress, anxiety and panic
- sadness, grief, anger, fear and low mood
Emotions can be overwhelming and start impacting your everyday life.
Your loved ones can also struggle with not knowing how they can help.
Is available as part of the kidney care team in Hobart to provide support and practical strategies to help you adjust to living with kidney disease. If you would like to meet with us please ask your kidney doctor for a referral. It is a free and confidential service.
For people living in northern Tasmania, please speak to your GP who can refer you to a psychologist within your local community.
Some support groups are organised locally within each region. Please ask your kidney doctor to link you in with the kidney care worker coordinating activities in your area.
Kidney Health Australia operates a national peer support program – that links people with a lived experience of kidney disease to people wanting to learn more from others at the same stage of the disease. Please contact Kidney Health Australia for more information.
Post transplant support group
A group of kidney donors and transplant recipients get together to share experiences over a good cup of tea every 2 months.
Please contact the Renal Psychologist for information.
Being diagnosed with kidney disease can be stressful for you and your family.
Social Workers are part of the support team to help you adjust to your illness and treatment.
- provide information about services you may need.
- provide education and support to patients and their families to become an equal partner in their treatment and decisions about treatment and care.
- advocate for patients and families experiencing hardship.
- provide supportive counselling and problem solving.
- provide emotional support and brief strengths based intervention to help you work through concerns and consider your options.
Social workers can help with:
- Coping with the effects of kidney disease and treatment.
- Family and relationship issues.
- Concerns about making healthcare decisions that work for you.
- Drug and alcohol matters.
- Access to financial support.
- Supporting carers.
- Access to in home and residential care.
Social Workers can also refer you to services in the community such as:
- Aged Care, respite and permanent care.
- Accommodation and housing.
- Centrelink and financial counselling.
- Legal services.
- Family and parenting services.
- Practical support such as transport, home help, personal care and meals.
- Counselling services for grief and loss.
- Specialist services for complex care needs.
- Annual Electricity Concession
- Centrelink Applications and Payments
If you would like more specific information and support in relation to the range of income payments and concessions available via Centrelink please ask for a referral to Social Worker Services
- Emergency Relief
There are range of local service providers who will provide emergency relief to people experiencing financial hardship. Emergency relief will usually be provided in the form of fuel vouchers, food and clothing as well as credit towards utilities bills. For information on how to access this please request a referral to Social Work Services
- Essential Medical Equipment Payment
- Life Support Concession
- Supporting Living Organ Donors Program | Australian Government Department of Health
- Transplant Allowances
A daily allowance for the duration of interstate inpatient and outpatient treatment for transplant patients with a government concession or pension card. To access this allowance please request a referral to Social Work Services via your Transplant Coordinator.
- Transport Reimbursement
Fuel reimbursement form for people with Health Care / Pension Card living less than 50 Kms from a treatment centre.
Patient Travel Assistance Scheme for costs related to transport and accommodation related to interstate treatment and for people who travel more than 50 kms one way to treatment in Tasmania DoH Patient Travel Assistant Scheme
- Enduring Guardianship
- Centrelink and bank Nominee authorities
- Wills and estate planning
- Advanced Care Directives
- Power of Attorney
Access to additional services
- Access to Aged Care packages and nursing homes
- National Disability Insurance Scheme
- Financial counseling
- Alcohol and drug services
- Registration for community transport
- Public Housing
How do I contact a social worker?
- You can refer yourself by telephoning 6166 8354
- Ask a staff member to refer you.
Social Workers can see you at Nephrology South, Karingal, Wellington Clinics, or in your home.
We can also arrange a professional interpreter
The Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS) provides financial help with travel and/or accommodation costs to Tasmanian residents who need to travel:
- more than 50 km (one way) to the nearest oncology or dialysis treatment centre
- more than 75 km (one way) to the nearest appropriate specialist medical service
- more than 75 km (one way) to access lymphoedema treatment from their permanent residence.
Benefits are only paid for interstate referrals when the treatment is unavailable in Tasmania.
Dietitians use up-to-date information to give practical advice to help you manage your kidney disease. They work with you and your family or carers to help maintain and improve your health, nutrition, and quality of life through diet.
Eating a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet is vital for good health and wellbeing. The dietitian will help you understand your blood results ,dialysis and medications and how they impact your food choices.
Eating well can be challenging with the demands of dialysis and the symptoms of kidney disease. Having appropriate meals prepared for you is ideal but not always possible. At times it can seem easier to not bother to cook and just skip meals.
Long term this has a negative effect on your wellbeing. Skipping meals is never ideal for anyone and is not recommended for somebody on dialysis. If you have no assistance with food preparation and you often skip meals or don’t eat enough, joining others can have a positive effect on your appetite.
Eating adequately is an important part of keeping well whilst having dialysis. If you are lucky enough to have a caring partner/family member or friend to shop and cook for you then that gives you more time to recuperate from dialysis and rest. If you are catering for yourself or you are the chief cook and bottle washer for others at home, then it can be difficult after a long session of dialysis to go home and shop and cook .
Dietary advice for patients starting dialysis
The Nutrition Education Materials Online (NEMO guidelines) - under the heading Renal are produced by the Queensland government and provide excellent guides for patients wishing to read more about dietary advice.
Please refer to:
- healthy eating on haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis,
- low salt,
- phosphate and protein amongst many others.
Community/Neighbourhood Houses or Centres
The following Community and Neighbourhood Houses and Centres offer a variety of services that may assist you. Some offer food hampers, meals to take home plus a range of other services. Each centre offers a different range of services. Click on the link below of the centre that is closest to where you live to see what they offer.
We hope you find something that can help you.
The following links are ordered alphabetically by Suburb or area
|Derwent Valley/New Norfolk||https://www.dvchouse.org/|
|Dunalley Tasman /Nubeena||https://dunalleytasman.org/|
Page currently closed for maintenance Ph. 62651155
|Okines ( Dodges Ferry)||https://www.nht.org.au/houses/okines-communi|
Consumer support and advocacy
Renal voices aloud
Your kidney care team encourages you to provide your thoughts and ideas and actively encourages your involvement in how we can improve our services and support. Consumer representative groups and committees are part of our team. Please ask your kidney doctor or nurses whom to contact in your area to get involved and or to have your say.
Being able to have a holiday while receiving dialysis treatment is important and helps people stay connected to their friends and family across the state and Australia.
Most public hospitals in Australia provide holiday dialysis chairs when a vacancy exists in their service. It is recommended you arrange holidays well in advance of your planed travel date due to the high demand for seats. Please discus with your kidney nurse if you are considering travelling. A list of Australian Dialysis Units can be found on the Kidney Health Australia website.
Kidney Health Australia also operate dialysis holiday buses in some states and places can be booked via contacting Kidney Health Australia.
If you are receiving peritoneal dialysis, please consult your home therapy nurse who can help you arrange delivery of your stock to your holiday address. This will need to be arranged a few weeks in advance of your planned time away from home.
Australia has reciprocal agreements with some countries and although overseas holidays can usually be arranged, there may be a cost involved for dialysis. Go to the Kidney Health Australia to find out more about dialysis and travelling.
Your Kidney Care Team recognise the high prevalence of chronic kidney disease in our first nation people and the unique problems faced by Indigenous patients. We are fully committed to 'closing the gap' for any patients that identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders so please let us know.
There are some good Indigenous resources available on the Kidney Health Australia website which may be of interest.