How long can someone live after stopping dialysis?


Generally, they will pass away within a week or two. Sometimes it’s a little longer, or it could be even less. It really depends on their current status and other medical issues that may be going on.


The disease process usually follows an expected course. Healthcare professionals monitor and treat the commonly associated symptoms to provide comfort and peace at end of life.


Hospice should be initiated to help monitor the decline, manage the end of life symptoms, provide education to the family, and help to prepare for the death.


Without dialysis, toxins build up in the blood and can cause:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fluid overload

  • Edema

  • Increased sleeping or lethargy

  • Restlessness or Anxiety

  • Hallucinations or Delusions

  • Changes in mental status, confusion, or disorientation

  • Changes in breathing

  • Congestion

  • Changes in skin color or temperature

  • Dry itchy skin


Although this all may seem like a lot, many people pass away peacefully and it is sometimes referred to as ‘the good death’…quick and peaceful.


It is important to have open, honest conversations with your family and support each other through this time. It’s also important to prepare your final wishes and ensure that your Advanced Directives are clear.


If you need help through this time of your life, I am here and I want to help you.