Working can benefit those suffering with a chronic illness
by Brandpoint (ARA) Sponsored Content
Dec 02, 2013 | 6617 views | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(BPT) - No one needed to tell Houston's Robert Gandy that he would reap health and wellness benefits from continuing to work after he started dialysis four years ago.

For more than 42 years, Gandy has worked in the restaurant business. The thought of leaving the job he loves never crossed his mind when he started treatment for kidney failure - he would find a way to make dialysis fit with his work and his life.

"Going to my job takes me away from the fact that I have end stage renal disease (ESRD), because I'm absorbed in my work," says Gandy, an executive chef, proud grandfather and DaVita dialysis patient.

As Gandy discovered - and studies have proven - when patients continue working after they go on dialysis, it can help them feel healthier, happier and more financially secure. Nearly 50 percent of new ESRD patients are of working age and currently there are 430,000 people in the U.S. with end stage renal disease.

Individuals who work are more likely to receive a kidney transplant, according to a recent collaborative study from the University of New Hampshire. Those who work full-time are the most likely to be placed on the transplant waiting list and receive a kidney.

In addition, people on dialysis who keep their jobs are generally happier, the study found. Working patients tend to experience lower rates of depression, their survival rate is notably 6 percent better than those who are not working and overall they are less likely to be hospitalized, which can dramatically improve quality of life.

For individuals who have been diagnosed with ESRD, DaVita encourages them to:

* Get educated - Talk with their doctor and care team about any limitations. Sign up for a free Kidney Smart (SM) class to learn about kidney disease and taking control of their kidney health.

* Understand their treatment options and insurance benefits - Employer-provided insurance may offer additional coverage for transplants and better access to the care team of their choice.

* Inform others about their illness - Tell their family and friends to build their support network and find support online.

'Continuing to work can benefit chronically ill patients with extra income, a bigger support network and even a greater sense of purpose,' says Dr. Allen R. Nissenson, DaVita chief medical officer.

"Talk to your work to make sure dialysis fits in, so you put the least amount of stress upon yourself as possible," shares Gandy. "But get the information, process it and talk to your family."

For more information about living with kidney disease, visit DaVita.com/WorkingPatients or call (888) 405-8915.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.