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Transfer gait belts are very useful in cases where patients are immobile or in major discomfort while doing any movement. To use a gait belt, a patient must be able to carry his/her weight at least to some extent. After learning how to use a gait belt, a caregiver will be able to help a patient with performing regular tasks like walking.
Benefits in detail:
● Minimizes Injury
The non-slip buckle will prevent the patient’s fall from the hospital bed or while walking.
● Lessens Physical Pressure on Caregivers
The strain on the caregivers is low because of the handle. This results in caregiver concentrating on the patient more, being less self-conscious.
● Very Effective for Maintaining Balance
This belt reduces the tension on the patient’s backbone and other parts of the body.
They are useful for covering both long and short distances, e.g., across a large hospital or between a bed and a bathroom.
Learning how to use a gait belt for patients is of utmost importance, along with the system associated with proper body movements that will help avoid injury.
Fixing the Belt around the Patient
- The patient should know that a belt would be tied around his/her waist.
- The patient should not worry about the belt. He/She should be assured that the belt is a temporary device; once the task is completed, the belt goes away.
- While tying the belt, the patient needs to be in a sitting position on the border of the bed, facing the caregiver.
- The belt should be fastened around the patient’s midsection. The belt-buckle needs to be facing the front. For a patient with a weak bladder, the buckle should be slightly off-center.
- The belt should not be put on exposed skin. There should be a sheath in-between the belt and the skin, e.g. a towel, dress, etc.
- There should be two-finger space between the belt and the patient’s body.
- No standing position before the belt is in its place.
- The caregiver needs to face the patient with knees bent and back straight.
- Your arms, while lifting, should be wound around the patient’s waist, your hand should be under the belt; palm should be facing outwards.
- Transfer gait belt with support handle is to be used. The best is with anti-slip handles.
Many types of transfer gait belts―in various designs―are available in canvas, cotton, leather, and nylon. Some offer waist straps, floor leads, knee straps, and handles.
Note: A physician’s opinion is a must before starting the use of transfer gait belt. They are the best judge for the best kind of belt for patients.