Home Health & Hospice

Q: What are the responsibilities of a home health aide when monitoring a patient's special diet?

Homecare Insider, March 18, 2013

Q: What are the responsibilities of a home health aide when monitoring a patient’s special diet?

A: Many homecare patients have special diets. The special diet might be because of a certain illness, an ongoing condition, or a recent surgery. It can also be to gain or lose weight. It is very important for the homecare aide to make sure that the diet is followed. If it isn’t followed properly, it can cause great harm to the patient.

Special diets include:
  • Low-fat diets
  • Low-salt diets
  • Low calorie diets
  • Soft diets
  • Diabetic diets

The doctor who puts the patient on a restricted diet should be able to provide a document that lists what is okay and not okay to eat. It is part of the HHA’s job to ensure that this diet is being followed and to let the home health clinician know if the patient is not following this diet.

The HHA must help the patient stay on track with his or her diet and make sure the patient is eating healthily. The main responsibility of the aide is to observe the patient’s eating habits and report any signs that he or she may be off the specialty diet, eating any restricted foods, or may be suffering from a diet-related condition such as dehydration or malnutrition.

This is an excerpt from Beacon Health’s book Home Health Aide On-the-Go In-service Series, Volume XI. Learn more about this valuable resource today!