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Welcome to Responsum Health

Responsum Health is harnessing the promise of the Internet to better inform and engage patients with chronic conditions. Join us!

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Email: info@responsumhealth.com
Phone: +1 (949) 264 2277
Headquarters Office: Washington, DC
Operations Office: Irvine, CA

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Why Join a CKD Support Group?

Living with a chronic condition like kidney disease can leave you feeling isolated and alienated among family members, friends, and colleagues who don’t experience the challenges you wrestle with day to day and moment to moment.

Fortunately, there are both peer- and facilitator-led support groups available where you can:

  • safely share your emotions 
  • hear first-hand experiences of living with the disease and its treatments 
  • trade coping strategies; 
  • receive encouragement
  • feel connected, understood, and empowered 

So, where are those support groups, and how do you find them? 

Support group members holding hands and smiling

7 Easy Ways to Find CKD Support Groups

Here is a sampling of in-person and online support groups and locators for people living with CKD nationwide.

1. American Association of Kidney Patients 

Has a locator feature for independent support groups in 34 states, along with information about how to start your own support group. 

2. National Kidney Foundation 

Offers a program called NKF Peers. You can call, or fill out a form online and be matched with a peer mentor who will call you to provide moral support, and share experiences and tips about the disease management and treatments.

3. Responsum for CKD

That’s us! We connect a supportive patient community via our digital platform where patients can find access to reliable information about CKD, share stories, experiences, and advice. 

4. Renal Support Network 

Holds in-person support meetings at its own ‘Studio Hope’ in Glendale, California, and also offers a support group locator for all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

5. DialysisFinder.com

DaVita Kidney Care’s online locator can help you find a dialysis center near you. Even if you’re not on dialysis, a social worker or other staff member at the center may be able to direct you to a local support group.

6. Educational and support sessions may also be hosted by your local hospital, health clinic, religious communities, and/or humanitarian organizations. 

7. Online support groups, whether public or private, come in various forms:

Questions to ask–and answer–before joining a CKD support group

While studies confirm that patients who participate in support groups enjoy a variety of benefits, not every support group is appropriate for every patient. Before joining a particular support group, ask the following:

  • Is the group designed for people in a certain stage of the disease?
  • Is it designed for a particular age group?
  • Is there mandatory participation, or can you observe until you’re comfortable sharing?
  • When, where, and how often does the group meet?
  • Is it peer-led or facilitator-led?
  • If there’s a facilitator, what is their training?
  • Are meetings free? If not, what is the fee and what is it paying for?

Tips for Joining a CKD Support Group

Joining a support group doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment. Even if it is, you don’t have to stick with the first one you try. 

  • Some support groups meet once a month, others once a week. After choosing a group, attend for a few sessions or weeks to see if it’s a good fit. If you try several at the same time, you might want to jot down your impressions in a journal in order to keep them separate. You may find that a particular group or format helps you more than another.
  • Pay close attention to the group’s protocols concerning sharing and confidentiality, and respect participants’ privacy.
  • Watch to see how effectively the facilitator, whether peer, lay, or professional, guides the sessions forward and handles disruptive group members, negativity, and conflict.
  • Beware of groups, whether in-person or online that:
    • charge high fees (most support groups are free, though some may ask for donations of a few dollars per attendee for snacks and operation costs)
    • require you to buy products or services from members, facilitators, or the host organization
    • promise any particular outcomes from group participation, whether medical or otherwise

Remember that a support group is neither therapy nor a substitute for medical care. If you decide to participate in a support group, let your doctor know. 

If you decide not to participate in a support group but could use help adjusting to your situation, ask your doctor about finding an appropriate counselor or exploring other types of therapy.

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