Caring for a loved one

Is there someone you care for who is living with proteinuria? Are you looking for ways to help support them? If so, there are simple steps you can take to lend a hand.

Caregiving takes many forms. You can help with household chores, run errands, or go along on doctor visits. No matter how you help, you’ll be making a positive impact and playing a vital role in their care and well-being. The tips below provide simple suggestions that may help you.

Learn more about your loved one’s condition

Being diagnosed with proteinuria in nephrotic syndrome can be difficult to process. Your loved one may have trouble fully understanding his or her condition. He or she may also find it difficult to explain the condition to you and others. It can be frustrating.

But there’s a way you can offer added support here, too. Start by learning as much as you can about proteinuria in nephrotic syndrome. The knowledge you gain can be important in many ways:

  • It may help you to better understand the condition and its causes
  • You may be better prepared to partner with your loved one's doctors, and know what questions to ask during office visits
  • You may have a better idea of how your loved one is coping on an emotional level
  • You may also have a clearer understanding of what diet and lifestyle changes he or she may need to make
  • It may help you assist in making informed decisions when considering treatment options for your loved one
When frustration becomes understanding

Joe feels something was wrong and takes action—and finds relief when his suspicions are confirmed by his doctors.

Learn about proteinuria in nephrotic syndrome with a simple animation.

Find out how healthy kidneys work,
and what happens when proteinuria
in nephrotic syndrome occurs.

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kindey

Simple ways to lend your support

Treating a kidney condition may take commitment from your loved one. Staying on his or her medicine, adopting a healthy diet, and going to doctor and lab appointments are crucial. These tasks can be time-consuming. Your loved one may not have the time now to do all he or she needs to get done each day. That’s where your help may come in handy.

You can assist with simple chores around the house or run errands, such as:

  • Dusting and/or vacuuming
  • Doing a load (or two) of laundry
  • Shopping for groceries
  • Picking up medicine
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Shoveling snow
  • Washing the car
  • Babysitting
  • Cooking
Finding support

Jenny takes a very matter-of-fact approach to finding help with day-to-day activities.

Download a helpful caregiver tool

Use this simple shopping list tool to lend a hand and help with shopping errands.

DOWNLOAD

Helping your loved one get organized

Managing a kidney condition can create a lot of paperwork. Your loved one may be faced with piles of information. Organizing it can be quite a difficult task.

But all that paperwork can offer another way for you to be supportive. You can work to help make sense of it all. For example, you can help read through insurance forms and claims. Here are some other suggestions you may find helpful:

Keep an up-to-date healthcare contact sheet.

Your loved one may have many doctors. It’s important to keep their names and phone numbers current and handy. Download our Doctor Discussion Guide now to help you get started.

Create an up-to-date medicine list.

Chances are that your loved one may be on more than one medication. Create a current list that can be taken to medical appointments. Download our Doctor Discussion Guide now to help you get started.

Organize a travel folder with all needed medical information.

Use it to store the most important information related to your loved one’s care. Keep it handy for travel to doctor appointments.

Play it safe. Create extra copies of important documents.

Have extra copies of all insurance ID cards, medicine lists, and doctor contact sheets for safekeeping in case originals get misplaced.

Attend your loved one’s doctor and lab visits

One of the most important ways you can help out is by joining your loved one at appointments. This can have a great impact on overall care. During doctor visits, it’s easy to misunderstand or just miss instructions. That’s why clear and open communication with the doctor is key. With you there, your loved one will have an extra pair of eyes and ears.

Use the tips below to help your loved one gain the most benefit from doctor visits:

Create a list of any questions for the doctor beforehand.

If your loved one experiences any new symptoms, write those down as well. Also, be sure to take extra paper and a pen or pencil along for note-taking. Download our Doctor Discussion Guide now to help you get started.

Try to arrive early to all medical appointments.

This is especially important when consulting with a new doctor.

Find out why specific tests and lab results are needed.

Know what they all mean. To learn about the types of tests that may be needed, and to help you track their results, download our Lab Results Tracker now.

HIPAA privacy authorization form

Federal law requires that your loved one’s doctors keep his or her health information private. In other words, your loved one’s health information may not be shared with you without his or her approval. Ask the doctors for a release form allowing you access to the information. Your loved one will need to sign the form.

Become a care coach

There’s one more vital way you can help your loved one. Appoint yourself as his or her personal care coach.

Like any good coach, you’ll offer encouragement and be a constant source of support. The following tips offer 5 simple ways to help your loved one stay on track with managing proteinuria:

1
Provide treatment reminders.

Know when it’s time to take medication

2
Stay on top of doctor and lab visits.

Help keep track of all appointments

3
Be ready to offer emotional support.

Managing a kidney condition can be challenging at times. Lending a shoulder to lean on may help your loved one to cope

4
Help your loved one adhere to a healthy diet.

It’s important to help keep an eye on protein, salt, and fat intake. Get healthy diet tips and recipes for your loved one

5
Exercise together.

Exercise has been shown to help people with kidney conditions. By encouraging your loved one to join you—even for walks—you'll be helping him or her adopt healthy habits. Get exercise tips for your loved one

Mallinckrodt intends this website to be informative, but you should remember the contents are general in nature and not meant to substitute for specific advice from healthcare professionals that may be necessary based on your individual questions and needs. We have made reasonable efforts to provide helpful and accurate information, however we make no guarantees and you should not solely rely on the information included here.

Resources and support for caregivers

The following organizations can provide additional information and support for caregivers like you:

Family Caregivers Online
Educational resources, tools, and information for caregivers related to several topics, including emotional support, legal and financial matters, doctor visits, and more.

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Lotsa Helping Hands
A service of the National Kidney Foundation, Lotsa Helping Hands is a private, web-based caregiving coordination service that allows family and friends to create a community to assist a family caregiver with the daily tasks of caring for a chronically ill loved one.

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Family Caregiver Alliance
The first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care for loved ones at home. A pioneer in health services, FCA supports and sustains caregivers with national, state, and local programs and resources.

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The Caregiver Action Network
The nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 65 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions. This non-profit organization provides education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge.

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This website may identify third-party organizations and provide links to third-party websites or other third-party information (“Third-Party Content”). The Third-Party Content is meant for informational purposes only, is not endorsed by or under the control of Mallinckrodt, and is not meant to replace a physician's medical advice. Mallinckrodt has no responsibility or liability for and makes no representations whatsoever about any Third-Party Content.

 
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