When, Why and How to Use Gait Belt for Better Recovery

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Gait belts have become quite common for elderly and young people who find it difficult to move independently. It gives extra support to the caregiver to hold the patient to lift or move them. But the belt is not recommended to every patient. It is crucial to check the patient’s medical condition and then opt for the belt.

Earlier, it was only older people who had difficulty with their movements. But now, due to various illnesses and surgery recoveries, even young people sometimes find it tough to move on their own. In these cases, they take help from a family member or a caregiver. However, supporting the patient with hands can be quite risky as the grip is not tight. So to help the caregivers, Gait Belt or Transfer Belt for patients is used. For people who have no idea about the belt, here are all the details.

When to Use the Belt?

Usually, the transfer belts with handles is recommended by the doctor of the patient. As they know the patient’s medical condition, they can analyze the situation and suggest the best therapy. Most patients can use the belt, except for:

  • Zero Movement Patients: Patients who cannot move even a bit on their own are usually not suggested the use of the belt. They can only use it if they can assist themselves with limited movements
  • Abdominal Surgery Patients: Patients who have undergone abdominal or pelvic surgeries are also not suggested the belt. As it gets tied up on the waist, it can worsen their condition

Other than these two cases, almost everyone who has difficulty in movement can opt for a transfer belt for patients.

Why Use The Belt?

It must be clear that the belt is used to form a firm grip around the patient to assist them with their movements. Patients who have difficulty getting up from the belt or cannot maintain their balance, wear the transfer belt so that their caregiver can hold them better.

How to Use the Belt?

The last but the most asked question is how to use the belt correctly. Many caregivers are still not comfortable with the use of the transfer belt for patients. It leads them to wrongly get hold of the belt and end up hurting themselves or the patient. Here are a few points that they can take care of while supporting a patient with the gait belt.

How to Use the Belt
How to Use the Belt
  • Securing the belt: It is crucial to keep the belt tight enough so that it does not slip. But it is equally important to keep it loose so that the patient does not feel uncomfortable, and the caregiver does not have a hard time holding it.
  • Movement with the belt: The caregiver and the patient should sync while making a move. None of them should move with a jerk. Otherwise, they will end up hurting each other. Further, if the patient falls during a walk, the caregiver should help them sit on the ground. Keeping them up can twist their body, leading to injury.
  • Removing the belt: It is essential to remove the belt as soon as its work is over. As it is tightly tied up on the waist, it can hurt the patient while lying down or sitting.

Conclusion

These were all the essential details about the gait belt or transfer belt. Still, the patient should always ask their doctor whether it is suitable for them to use the belt or not.