At Fresenius Medical Care Argentina, “Quality of Life” is not a slogan. It is a comprehensive program that helps dialysis patients to improve their fitness and psychological condition, while enjoying a sense of community during treatments.
Also offered are rehabilitation classes that help a number of the patients regain control of their daily lives activities and, in some cases, return to work.
The Quality of Life program is continuing to grow as it celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. With about 70 percent of Fresenius Medical Care Argentina’s dialysis patients taking part, clinics hum with Quality of Life activities. These include music, art and occupational therapy, fitness training, and craft activities for patients who need help to regain movement and coordination. And some 600 patients take school courses, including vocational and literacy training.
In the most popular single activity, about 5,000 Fresenius Medical Care patients have received free seeds and instruction in the “Huerta” (family garden program). Patients are shown that gardening is not only enjoyable, but a surprisingly good form of gentle exercise. And by yielding fresh fruits and vegetables, it helps family budgets while encouraging a more healthy diet.
“It is to introduce something absolutely different to dialysis.”
“We are very proud of our Quality of life Program,” said Gabriela Cannatelli, Chief Executive Officer of Fresenius Medical Care Argentina. “It’s a holistic approach that helps patients with chronic kidney disease to continue to live their lives beyond the disease.
Graciela Voronovitsky, the Program Coordinator, said the Quality of Life program encourages patients to take a positive attitude and become more active participants in maintaining their health – not just passive recipients of medical treatment. “I’ve been working in dialysis units for 24 years,” she explained. “This is a paradigm shift. It is to introduce something absolutely different to dialysis. It is a change of culture.”