A gait belt, also known as a transfer belt, is an assistive device used to help people with injuries or weaker joints in standing or walking. It is primarily used to hold a patient up while he or she walks. It is not only beneficial for the patients but also alleviate the strain put on the caregiver while lifting the patients. Along with the right quality of the product, you must even know how to properly use a gait belt with handles to get the most out of it. Below are some essential tips to safely use a transfer belt –
1. Identify the Objective
While a beneficial device, a gait belt with handles is not ideal for all patients who cannot move around on their own, for a person to use this belt, he or she must be in an ambulatory condition. It implies that the patients must be able to bear their weight to some extent.
2 Securely the Belt Rightly
The transfer belt with handles should be secured snuggly around the patient without making them feel uncomfortable. To check whether or not the belt is fastened correctly, put two fingers between the belt and the patient. If you can place and remove the fingers comfortably, then you have secured it rightly. Additionally, make sure that the patient is wearing at least one layer of clothing to avoid chafing.
3. Adjust Your Surrounding
You do not want to hassle with things on the way while you are moving the patient from one place to another. Before you use the padded gait belt with handles on the patient, adjust your surroundings. If there are things on your way, move them to the side before dealing with the patient. Moreover, fit the bed and furniture of the room around to make it easier to help patients get from one place to another.
4. Consider the Body Structure
Caregivers should be aware of the ideal body posture while using a padded gait belt with handles. Once you have secured the belt around the patient’s waist, bend your knees and lift yourself along with the patient. Your lower back should be positioned in a natural curve, and your head should be straight up aligned with the shoulders.
5. Communicate with the Patients
When you are using transfer belts with handles on patients, communicate your every move with them. It allows them to prepare for the process. If you are lifting the patient, talk the same so that there are equal efforts. It is also important to relieve some degree of pressure from the caregiver.
Gait belt helps elderly and injured patients get the right amount of support to stand or move around. It makes sure that the patients and caregiver avoid fall or injury during the transfer process. To be able to get the most out of this belt, the caregiver should know how to use it properly. Above are some tips that will help you understand the right ways to use transfer belts with handles.