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How To Use A Gait Belt
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is a gait belt?
A gait belt is a safety device used to help someone move, such as from a bed to a chair. The belt is also used to help hold someone up while he walks, if he is too weak to walk on his own. The gait belt helps you provide support and helps prevent a fall. It also decreases your risk for a back injury while you help the person move or walk.
What kinds of gait belts are used?
Usually a gait belt is about 1½ to 4 inches (3.8 to 10 centimeters) wide and 54 to 60 inches (137 to 152 centimeters) long. The belt is made of canvas, nylon, or leather with a buckle at one end. Several kinds of gait belts are available. The person's healthcare provider can help decide which gait belt to use.
How do I use a gait belt?
- Put the belt around the person's waist over his clothing with the buckle in front.
- Thread the belt through the teeth of the buckle. Put the belt through the other 2 loops to lock it.
- Be sure the belt is snug with just enough room to get your fingers under it.
- If possible, the person should be encouraged to push down on the chair or bed, while you lean forward and grasp the belt on both sides. The person should be held at the waist instead of the arms or shoulders.
- Lift or move the person with your arm and leg muscles. Do not use your back muscles.
- Do not twist your body when you move or lift the person.
- When you are done moving or walking with the person, remove the gait belt.
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