BACKGROUND: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been associated with a progressive decline in cognitive functions. This may lead to significant consequences for the person with CKD physically, psychologically and socially and may affect the everyday lives of the family.
OBJECTIVES: To explore the everyday life experiences of next of kin of persons with CKD and cognitive impairment (CI).
DESIGN: A qualitative design with semi-structured individual interviews with next of kin of persons with CKD and CI to gather in-depth information about the everyday life experiences of the next of kin. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed inductively based on qualitative thematic analysis.
FINDINGS: Based on the analysis, four themes were constructed: CI evolves gradually and is multifaceted; balancing everyday life challenges; finding ways to deal with their situation and knowledge enables understanding.
CONCLUSION: Next of kin took responsibility and developed strategies for making everyday life function for the person with CKD and CI, which required considerable structure and a number of actions. They needed information about the CI and developed strategies for how to protect the person with CKD from being exposed. To provide themselves a personal space, next of kin turned to family, friends and people in comparable situations. To identify and address unmet care needs, healthcare professionals must proactively demonstrate an increased focus on CI and focus on the potential care needs of the person with CKD and their next of kin.