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Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Cassidy M. J. D., Sims R. J. A.
Renal and Transplant Unit Nottingham City Hospital NHS Trust Nottingham, UK
In the last 2 decades, there has been a phenomenal increase in the number of incident and prevalent elderly patients receiving renal replacement therapy (RRT) and this trend is likely to continue. This article reviews the changing demographics of the renal patient population and discusses the possible reasons for this. The profile of the older adult patient group is discussed, and specific demands and requirements of this patient group are explained. In particular, the authors concentrate on dialysis mode and vascular access; malnutrition; falls and fractures; cognitive impairment and depression and drugs and pain. It is clear that the “old old” can benefit significantly from dialysis despite an increasing burden of comorbidity and prognosis on dialysis is discussed. In order to properly inform patients about treatment options it is essential to provide information about prognosis. For some patients dialysis may not be the preferred option and for others withdrawal from dialysis may be appropriate. Nephrologists therefore also need to be familiar with end of life issues and palliative symptom control.