Gait or Transfer Belts

Transfer belts are assistive devices which are used by caregivers during transfers of a patient from bed to wheelchair or commode/bath and while walking. A transfer belt used to assist a patient or an elderly person when out for a supervised walk is generally referred to as a gait belt. These are belts to help lift elderly and frail with minimum strain on the caregiver.

When is a gait belt or patient transfer belt required

A gait belt or transfer belt is required during the transfer or ambulation of patients who have impaired mobility or are frail and elderly. The patient is at risk of losing his/her balance and slipping and falling. At the same time this also exposes the caregiver to injuries and back strains. A gait and transfer belt minimizes these risks and allows for smooth and safe transfers. Use of the belt is especially effective when the patient is minimally dependent, is of average weight-bearing capacity, co-operative and responsive to instructions.

When a transfer belt is placed around the waist of the patient it provides the caregiver a secure hold allowing him/her to safely move the person from one spot to another. The belt may have a handle for the caregiver to easily grasp and steady the patient. Or he/she may place hand under the transfer belt and hold on to the patient.

Reducing the risks of heavy lifting with gait and transfer belts

The correct use of the gait and transfer belt can lessen the struggles associated with transferring a patient and reduce the risk of a back injury. If the patient is of heavy weight or frail, the lifting technique has to be proper irrespective of what the caregiver’s strength is. Constant bending and lifting can take a toll on the caregiver’s back.

Transfer belts make the transfer of a person from the bed to a wheelchair safer and assist with sitting and standing.When the patient is out for a walk, the caregiver ties the belt around his/her waist and holds on to the handle if needed. This instills confidence in the patient who can walk around unassisted secure in the knowledge that the caregiver will provide support whenever needed.

Types of gait and transfer belts

Gait and transfer belts are padded for comfort. The caregiver may keep it around his/her waist all the time for easy access whenever it needs to be placed around the patient’s waist.

Generally, a gait belt or transfer belt has a width between 1.5”-4” and length between 54”-60”. It is made of nylon, canvas or leather. There is a buckle at one end for the caregiver to hold on to. The buckle may be plastic, nickel-plated, with airline-style securing or metal buckle with loops and teeth for secure fastening.

At Health Products For You, you will find a whole variety of gait and transfer belts in different designs and styles, like padded, pastel stripes, stars and stripes, wipeable, multi-handle, two-handle, heavy duty and more. There are transfer belts with handles and without handles. Best manufacturers of gait and transfer belts are featured here like Posey, Prism Medical, Humane Restraint, Mobility Transfer Systems, Medline, Skil Care Corp and Essential Medical.

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