About 26 million American adults have chronic kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Millions of others are at increased risk of developing the disease, which can be caused by heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders.
Over time, chronic kidney disease can progress to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. Early detection can prevent this progression. Highlight the importance of good renal health during National Kidney Month this March and World Kidney Day on March 10.
- Start by visiting the official website for World Kidney Day. Here you’ll find a ton of helpful information, including a toolbox with quizzes, recipes and educational information, and a section of campaign materials for World Kidney Day. Now visit the National Kidney Month webpage of the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for even more materials and ideas.
- Offer free blood pressure screenings at a large community event this month. High blood pressure is the second most common cause of kidney disease. Have stacks of agency brochures and flyers about kidney disease available.
- The groups with an increased risk of developing kidney disease include African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians and seniors. Use your website and social media feeds to share information about the need for awareness of kidney disease among African Americans.
- Teach a senior-focused diet and nutrition class in a local assisted living facility. Tout the benefits of healthy lifestyles in the prevention of kidney disease. Don’t forget to bring along healthy snack alternatives for attendees and be sure to address these snack choices in your presentation.
- Volunteer to prepare samples of kidney-friendly foods and distribute them at a local dialysis center. Home care professionals can help by providing important support and education about dietary requirements and modifications that can help slow the progression of kidney disease in some patients and improve overall health. Check out these great recipes to get started.