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  • End of life kidney failure



    1 reply

    Hello all, I've just joined this forum. My mother (85) has been told by her GP that after recent blood tests her kidney function has reached a critically low level. For the last 8 weeks I have been living with my parents - my father is bed-ridden - and looking after them during the Covid crisis. On Friday the GP sent my mother to hospital to try and improve her condition but the doctor there said that they could not do anything other than change the balance of her medication, and he sent her home again. 

    It is obvious that we are reaching an end of life situation. I do not want my mother to spend her last times either in hospital or in a care home, but I am worried that I don't really know what to anticipate as her condition worsens. I would be grateful for anyone on here to be able to tell me what sort of state my mother is likely to get into in terms of fatigue, level of pain, mental capacity etc as a result of her kidneys failing. Currently she is operating on just 15% of one kidney.

    Also, what home care help is available? Her GP told me a few weeks ago that during the Covid crisis one option is for NHS nurses to visit homes to do the same job they would do if the patient was in hospital. Does anyone have any experience of that?

    I'd be grateful for any information or advice.

    Thank you.

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  • Hannah11

    Hello SimonP, welcome to the Online Community. I’m sorry to read about your parents and all that you are experiencing.


    More and more people are deciding to care for their loved ones at home rather than opting for a care home or hospital. I can share some general signs that a loved one is nearing end of life, but this can differ from patient to patient. You may find that you mum might experience some of these signs:

                  Weak or tired

                  Less able to talk

                  Lose interest in things

                  Eat and drink less

                  Lose weight & muscle

                  Breathlessness or noisy breathing



                  Being confused/delirious


                  Loss of mobility

                  Skin colour can change

                  Hands, feet, nose, ears can become colder

                  Feel cold to touch

                  Blue lips


    GP’s and District nurse are still able to provide care for patients within their home. You may find that other organisations are still able to offer support within the home too. Your GP may be able to make you aware of these and make any referrals for you.


    We’re here for you if you have any more questions or if you need to talk.


    Take care

    Hannah – Support Line Officer

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