A gait belt is a good buy if you have to lift someone regularly. Gait belts, also known as transfer belts, lend safety and security to caregivers and patients. It is a good choice for patients who still have some mobility and are only partially dependent on caregivers for support. Numerous options are available on the market, but how do you figure out which one is the best buy for you? This article lists the top 10 gait belts to help you out.
But before that, let’s understand more about gait belts.
A gait belt is a mobility assistive device that is used to transfer patients who find themselves unable to walk freely safely. Patients wear gait belts when they need to be moved in and out of bed, chairs, and vehicles. They also help caregivers assist the patients in moving around, whether inside the house or in the medical center.
These belts decrease the incidence of a back injury, which the caregiver might experience while transferring the incapacitated patient. Gait belts are made of leather, cotton, nylon, or canvas.
There are two types of gait belts: standard gait belt and the quick-release gait belt.
The next thing we need to be aware of is when we should use a gait belt.
A gait belt is not meant for every patient. It should be used only when the patient is partially dependent and possesses some weight-bearing capacity. Remember, a gait belt is an assistive device. Hence, it should never be used to move or lift patients outright.
For patients who are unable to move with minimal assistance, a powered portable or mounted lift device should be used to transfer them safely. Patients with fairly good mobility but recovering from surgery or some condition that concerns the abdominal or lower back region should be cautious while using a gait belt.
If the patient has any feeding tubes, catheters, or any other apparatus near the abdominal area, caution should be exercised while using a gait belt. In addition to this, gait belts should not be used for the following:
As mentioned before, gait belts are extremely helpful in transferring patients who are partially ambulatory and have some weight-bearing capacity.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the Veterans Health Administration, and the American Nurses Association, has established that gait belt is suitable equipment for safe handling and transfer of partially ambulatory patients having some weight-bearing capacity (1).
The belt can be used in conjunction with a transfer board when sliding a patient from one level surface to another.
However, we advise you to consult your physician before you decide to use a gait belt.
Choosing the appropriate belt is important since the safety and security of both the caregiver and patient depend on it. To make your job easier, we have compiled a list of top 10 gait belts of 2019.
Mabua gait belts are made of 60% polyester and 40% cotton. Mabua was the first company to provide better safety loops for gait belts. This gait belt has only one loop for maximum transfer and safety. It comes in two different sizes – 60 and 72 inches. The metal buckle is easy to fasten.
Since it is made of cotton and polyester, it can be easily cleaned in a high-temperature washing machine. This belt aids ambulance and wheelchair transfer. It is available in four different colors. The Mabua Physical Therapy Gait Belt is highly recommended by medical professionals.
The Prestige Medical Cotton Gait Belt is made of 100% cotton. This belt comes with a metal buckle, which makes it durable and secures the patients safely while they are being transferred. The belt is designed to suit a variety of waist sizes. The belt is 58 inches in length and is machine washable.
The Secure Transfer and Walking Gait Belt-52 is made up of heavy-duty, soft nylon material. The reverse or reinforcement stitching guarantees its long life. The caregiver can use it to assist the patient with transfer, ambulation, and walking.
The back section of this belt is more extensive, unlike other gait belts, thus providing more contact area with the patient. It comes with six caregiver hand grips, four vertical and two horizontal, so the caregiver can choose the best leverage point to handle the patient. The belt can fit waist sizes from 28″ to 48″.
The Vive transfer belt allows the caregiver to ambulate patients easily. The quick-release metal buckle is secure and allows for easy adjustments. The belt is made of 100% cotton webbing and can hold up weight up to 500 Lbs. It has integrated elastic loops for securing any excess belt lengths from hanging down.
It comes with a durable metal buckle, which makes it apt for ambulating bariatric patients. The teeth of the metal buckle help to create a stronghold, and the belt stays in place until the release latch is lifted. The Vive transfer belt helps transfer patients from wheelchairs, beds, and chairs. It can be used at home or the hospital.
This gait belt is made of durable cotton webbing. The belt is 2 inches wide and 60 inches long. The buckle of this belt is made up of steel nickel chrome, which makes it suitable to support heavy weights.
The heavy-duty cotton webbing helps in providing a secure grip. It is easy to clean and can be washed in a high-temperature washing machine. This belt comes with a one-year warranty.
This high quality and affordable gait belt is made of heavy-duty webbing material. The LiftAid Belt is designed to assist in the transfer and walking of fall risk patients. The strong webbing and tensile metal buckle can hold up to 300 lbs of weight.
The belt is easy to clean and can be washed in high-temperature machines. This product comes with a one-year warranty covered by EBP medical.
This durable high-grade gait belt is made of heavy-duty super-soft nylon. Its 4-inch high back construction provides for greater weight-bearing capacity. Nurses and caregivers can use this belt to transfer heavier patients without making them experience any pain or discomfort.
The belt has six handle grips firmly sewn vertically and horizontally to it. This helps the caregiver in easy ambulation of the care recipient by choosing the best leverage point. It comes with an adjustable quick-release buckle that provides utmost security during transfer of patients. This belt offers unsurpassed comfort to the patients and is available in a universal size.
This durable gait belt is made of sturdy nylon webbing. It has two adjustable leg loops to anchor the belt in place. The leg loops prevent the belt from riding up on the patient and aid even distribution of the weight. It comes with a durable metal buckle, which is sturdy enough to handle bariatric patients. The quick-release buckles make fastening and unfastening a hassle-free experience.
The belt is adjustable and can be customized up to 55 inches in circumference. The best feature about the belt is that it comes with padded handle grips, which makes it comfortable for the caregiver to hold and ambulate the patient. There are four vertical grips at the back of the belt and two horizontal grips on the sides, which enable the caregiver to choose the best leverage point and provide maximum comfort to the care recipient.
The Posey Handled Gait Belt is made of strong nylon webbing. This extra-wide nylon belt provides greater contact area with patients. It fits waist sizes between 30 inches to 66 inches. The multiple handles allow safe handling and transfer of patients. The rear support band of the belt is 6 inches wide, padded, and comes with seven handle grips.
This belt comes with a quick-release buckle. The vertical and horizontal grips are firmly sewn to the belt and appropriately positioned to provide multiple leverage points to the caregivers for maximum comfort of the patient and prevent any injury to both. The buckle of the belt is made up of heavy-duty plastic.
This waist supporter is made of nylon and sandwich mesh fabric with built-in pearl cotton. This amazing combination of materials makes it a comfortable wear. It comes with seven vertical and three horizontal handle grips, which help the nursing persons to adjust the patients in a comfortable and safe position from different angles at any time.
The Tommhanes Transfer Belt is adjustable and has a night reflective strip. It comes with a user-friendly buckle and adjuster design. The adjuster is equipped with a slip-resistant ring. Patient’s outdoor rehabilitation, wheelchair sliding, and walking become safer due to the reflective night strip. It fits waist sizes from 32 inches to 52 inches.
The market is brimming with several varieties of gait belts. We compiled the above list of 10 best gait belts after a thorough and extensive screening of the products.
But, before you buy one, there are a few things you should know. Go through the following sections to understand how to use a gait belt and how you can choose the right one for you.
The gait belt can be used to lift or transfer someone from one place to another or assist in walking. The procedure to use a gait belt will depend on your purpose.
Here are a few points that you need to keep in mind while shopping for a gait belt.
A gait belt is a fantastic gear for both the caregiver and the patient for providing stability and reducing fall risk. Physical therapists mostly use assistive mobility devices. However, if you plan to use it for your family member at home, do consult a physician before using it. Exercise caution while using a gait or transfer belt for the safety of both the caregiver and patient.
Take your pick from the above list after consulting your physician and share your experience with us in the comments section below.
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