A gait belt resembles an ordinary belt and can be used during physical therapy sessions to provide the patient with added support. It is also ideal for transferring patients from one location to another and when aiding them to walk. It is highly advantageous for individuals who have difficulties standing or walking without support due to balance issues, or pains and weaknesses in their legs. The handles or loops on the belt enables patients and caregivers to aid their patients or loved ones during the transferal and walking process, as they are able to hold on to the belt to provide support for the elderly or weak individuals. Gait belts are made of all sorts of materials, these being: cotton, leather, canvas or nylon. They have a metal or plastic buckle that enables its secure fastening around the waist of the user. They are can be as long as 60” in length and 4 inches in width.
As a caregiver, you may be in need of a gait belt if you have a patient who is finding standing and walking without support difficult. You may be finding yourself, lifting and almost carrying the patient from one location to another, and this may be causing you intense back and leg pain. A gait belt will help you support your patient whilst walking and aiding them during transferals without carrying the entire weight of the patient. With the aid of the loops or handles, you will be able to hold onto the belt to provide your patients with the support that they need. It is important to keep in mind that gait belts are not for lifting, but only for supporting, so the patient should have the ability to stand and take steps on their own and should be able to follow instructions to aid you in the transferal process.
Lift Assist Harness by Doty Belt
The Lift Assist Gait Belt by Doty Belt has six separate handles provides versatility to the caregiver who will be able to get a good grip of the belt no matter where they are standing. The handles are made of rubber to prevent the caregiver’s fingers from slipping during patient transferrals. It is also ideal for individuals with thicker waists (36 to 48 inches), which distinguishes it from other gait belts that are normally only made for smaller and narrower individuals.
It benefits both the user and the caregiver, by providing the user with support and security and eliminating any back pain and injuries that may be caused during the transferal process. It is light in weight, and will therefore cause no discomfort to the patient. The belt has been tested by Underwrite Laboratories (a safety consulting and certification company based in the USA), who has revealed that it can handle a maximum weight of 1,700 lbs without any risk of tearing in the material.
The well-thought-out structure comes from a firefighter’s twenty-year experience of carrying individuals out of dangerous situations. It is perfect for heavier and elderly individuals who can, to a certain extent, stand up by themselves and are able to follow instructions. It is a necessary mobility equipment and should be found in every care, nursing home and hospital.
The Lift Assist Harness by Doty Belt can be used to lift and guide children with down syndrome and autism, as well as the elderly and individuals who have weaknesses in their legs and are unable to stand up without any support. Unlike most gait belts, the Lift Assist Harness is able to maintain its position once wrapped around the individual and does not have tendency to lift up towards the chest of the patient, causing them discomfort and possible pain. Its steel buckle is easy to fasten and detach.
The handles are large and therefore easy to take grip of. It is sure to improve the quality of your life to an extent that you cannot even imagine. Apart from the handles, which are made of rubber, the rest of the belt is made of polyester which gives the belt its strength and hygienic quality, as it is remarkably easy to clean. The antimicrobial threading is a bonus, so you will not need to worry about the bacteria that comes along with extensive usage.
The only aspect that you may need to take extra caution of is the fastening of the adjustable leg straps. If not fastened carefully they may be too tight against the patient’s thigh area causing abrasions and discomfort.
- SIZE LARGE | This six handle model is perfect for larger patients. The large belt was designed for patients with a size 36 to 48 inch waist. Larger patients no longer need to be forced into belts designed to fit smaller patients. Get a snug, comfortable, and safe fit with the large size belt.
- RESCUE HARNESS | The Lift Assist Harness was designed to be the perfect lifting assistant for both the patient and the caregiver. While providing increased security for patients, it also helps prevent back injury to caregivers when lifting and maneuvering heavy patients. This efficient lifting device is a must-have to maintain safety throughout the therapy process. This harness can be used as a Gait belt without deploying the leg straps. The advantage is that it has handles.
- DEVELOPED BY A FIREMAN | Perfect for First Responders and Caregivers when they go to lift a patient or a family member they can use the Lift Assist Harness with confidence. Not only is it the perfect device for lifting patients from a chair, but it can also be deployed as a safety harness. This all-in-one belt system is the safest and most convenient way to maintain patient safety for a variety of positions and purposes.
- COMFORT AND STRENGTH | The Lift Assist Harness is lightweight and comes with rubber handles for amazing comfort during use. Not only does this belt come with steel "D" rings for amazing strength, the stitching has also been tensile tested through UL (underwrite laboratories) and proven to hold up to 1,700 lbs for the greatest durability available. We are proud that our belts held up so well, our guarantee that they will work well in whatever emergency or situation.
- QUALITY GUARANTEED | The Lift Assist Harness is made in the USA and backed by a LIFETIME WARRANTY. We test each carefully-manufactured belt to assure the highest quality standards and safety for patients and caregivers. Click the 'Add to cart' button now and see the amazing quality for yourself.
Gait Belt by Vive
The Gait Belt by Vive is perfect for safely transferring your patients or loved ones from one location to another. It is also ideal for physical therapy sessions. It is effective in eliminating the pain that could occur during the transferral process, as a result of pulling at the arms and shoulders for guidance. The belt is wide which ensures that the patient is comfortable and free of pain. It is adjustable and can be used by individuals with a maximum waist circumference of 60”. The gait belt is fastened by a metal buckle with teeth that can be released and connected with ease and haste. The buckle is 100% safe as there is no risk of it unfastening during transferals. It can handle a maximum weight of 500lbs. Its cotton material suggests that it can be washed in a machine without any worry of it falling to pieces.
If you’re looking for a gait belt that is wide enough to provide comfort, durable enough to last you a long time and one that can be washed extensively without disintegrating, then this gait belt by Vive may be the perfect one for you. It provides the individual with the ability to move around without experiencing a fear of falling and imbalances. It aids both the patient and the caregiver to maintain an excellent posture during transferals.
- EASILY MOVE AND TRANSFER: Safely and securely assist in physical therapy, transfers and ambulation of patients or loved ones. Adjustable gait belt prevents caregiver injuries and provides additional peace of mind. No more grabbing painfully by the back of arm or pants.
- QUICKLY PUT ON AND REMOVE: The wide cotton belt is fully adjustable to fit a maximum waist circumference of 60". No fuss, quick release metal buckle is heavy duty and allows for easy adjustments.
- METAL BUCKLE WILL NOT SLIP: The durable, quick-release buckle has locking teeth to ensure the belt does not slip when in use. Feel secure that the buckle will hold until the quick-release latch is lifted.
- SAFELY SUPPORTS UP TO 500 LBS: Strong 100% cotton webbing is used to create a transfer belt that will stand up to extensive use and is easily machine washed. For additional convenience, the transfer belt has an integrated elastic loop for securing any excess belt lengths out of the way.
- VIVE GUARANTEE: 60 day unconditional guarantee so you can purchase now with confidence.
Gait Belt with Handles
This Gait Belt with Handles by Old Nobby is ideal for the elderly and for individuals who have gone through surgery or have weaknesses in the lower halves of their bodies, and find standing or transferring from one spot to another a difficult process. It is perfect for individuals with a waist circumference of 28 to 50 inches. The back part of the strap is wide to ensure that patients are comfortable, as it supports most of the back.
It can be washed in the machine. It has a total of six handles, two horizontal ones on either side and four vertical ones at the front, which adds to the supportive and secure quality of the belt, as the caregiver is able to stand wherever they wish during guiding. It is fastened by a plastic buckle, that can be released hastily. Prior to transferring your patient, it is essential that you check that the buckle is firmly fastened. Also, do not fasten the belt around the patient if they are not clothed, as the belt can cause grazes on your patient’s skin. If your patient has recently had surgery, either on their back or stomach then do not attempt to transfer them using a gait belt, as this may cause additional dangers to their health.
This Gait belt by Old Nobby is amongst the pricier belts, however with its additional features it is well worth its price. Attach the belt around the user is remarkably easy. Just wrap the belt around the patient’s waist and fasten the buckle until you hear the click, then you’re ready to go. With so many handles, two horizontal and four vertical ones, the gait belt is highly versatile. They are strongly sewn onto the belt, without the risk of coming apart during walking and transferrals. It is the perfect gait belt for individuals who have the risk of stumbling during walking. The user will definitely feel more confident in being active once they have this belt wrapped around them. It is suitable for individuals who have tremors as a result of Parkinson’s Disease or arthritis.
A downside is that due to the several handles, the gait belt is a tiny bit bulkier than others. It is also perhaps not suitable for individuals with large and broader midriffs, as it has the tendency to slide upwards towards the under arms during transferals. This is due to the fact that it does not have a layer of rubber on the inner side for extra grip.
- SUPERIOR TRANSFER BELT FOR PATIENT CARE - A Secure Medical Gate Belt for Seniors & Patients with Transfer Handles designed to accommodate waist sizes from 28" to 50" to cater for different patient weight and height. This physical theraphy belt with handles is fully adjustable to fit 99% of patients, may work well with the beasy transfer board .
- HIGH GRADE QUALITY - Quality grade stitching with a high-back to provide full support and comfort for this Walking Belt. Nylon gait belt design may also serve as a posey vest to allow nurses and caregivers to mobilise and transfer heavier patients with more control and comfort for patient. This Safety belt is also machine washable
- 6 TRANSFER HANDLE GRIPS - 2 horizontal and 4 Vertical Patient Handle Grips allows lifting of patient and provides secure caregiver aid and safe patient transfer . The strengthen stitching allows for excellent leverage access point to reduce the risk of injury to the caregiver and patient.
- QUICK RELEASE PLASTIC BUCKLE - Security is foremost for patient transfer so the transfer gait belts with plastic buckle allows a quick release and unfastening for maximum Comfort, Durability and Safety. Recommended use for hospitals patient bed transfers or as a lift assist for elderly at home or at the nursing home facilities.
- 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - We are so confident in the quality of our Gait Belt that we promise you will be completely satisfied with your purchase or we'll give you your money back.
MABUA Physical Therapy Gait Belt with Metal Buckle
This physical therapy gait belt by MABUA is made of polyester (60%) and cotton (40%). Due to its strong structure, it can be washed in a machine extensively without any signs of wear and tear. It only has one loop for gripping and guiding. The metal buckle makes fastening and unfastening an easy process. The physical therapy belt by MABUA comes in four separate colours, these being; pink, purple, beige and black. Each in two distinct sizes: 60 inches and 72 inches.
Although this gait belt is machine washable, it is important that you wash and dry it at a low temperature, in order to prolong its duration. Over time tough stains that cannot be eliminated may occur on the belt, however do not attempt to bleach the belt as this will destroy its structure and take away from its strength. On the other hand, too much heat may also cause it to decrease in size. Natural drying is advised, however if you need to dry it quickly you can tumble dry it at a very low temperature.
Once you have fastened the belt ensure that it is wrapped around properly, so that there is no risk of sliding. However, keep in mind that you do not want it to be too tight, as this may restrict the blood circulation. An easy way to determine whether you’ve adjusted it to the ideal width, is to place two fingers between the patient’s waist and the belt, if you’re able to get them through without any struggling this is the ideal adjustment. To eliminate discomfort, fold away the excess part of the belt and secure it through the available slot.
The physical therapy gait belt by MABUA is one of the most secure belts on the market, especially due to its metal buckle that has no risk of unfastening while guiding the patient. Due to its small, light structure it is ideal for individuals who have had a recent back surgery. However, ensure that you do not tug too hard during transferrals. The belt will bring great change to your life, and provide your loved ones with the ability to stay active and mobile. Transferring from the chair to a bed, from the bed to the sofa will never been so easy.
It snugly fits around the waist of the patient, however, make sure that the user is fully clothed prior to fastening the belt around their waist, as there may be risk of skin abrasions. It is the perfect gait belt for individuals who are suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and are attending physical therapy sessions, as it provides them with maximum stability.
The main downside of the gait belt by MABUA is the extra precaution you need to take if your patient is overly thin, as the belt may have the tendency to slide up during transferrals. It is also good to keep in mind that the material of the belt is not smooth and may cause some discomfort for individuals with particularly sensitive skin. Also, as the buckle is not a simple click-on and click-off one, it may take longer to fasten and adjust than other gait belts.
- Buy MABUA Gait Belt: Made from 60% Polyester/ 40% Cotton.
- Machine washable and Very durable material
- This Gait Belt has ONE LOOP for maximum transfer and safety
- Easy to fasten metal buckle
- Makes mobilizing and transferring patients easier
Universal Gait Belt—Transfer Belt w/ Handles
The Universal Gait Belt by Rose Healthcare can be narrowed down to as long as 50 inches and it is able to fit individuals with a waist circumference as large as 58 inches. It is remarkably easy to adjust, as it has a sliding system, rather than a slotted one. The belt can be washed in a regular washing machine.
The Universal Gait Belt is perfect for patients who have weaknesses in the lower half of their bodies, are not able to walk or stay active without assistance and support. This gait belt by Rose Healthcare is ideal for individuals suffering from Parkinson’s Disease who may face difficulties when trying to transfer from a wheelchair to a bed. It can be effortlessly fastened and unfastened with the same ease. The buckle is firm and will not loosen with movement. It has two handles that are tightly sewn onto the strap and have no risk of coming undone in the middle of a transferral. It is perfect for the elderly, regardless of whether they have a thin or thick waist as it can be adjusted according to size.
A downside is that the gait belt has the tendency to slip up towards the under arms during movement, particularly if you are using it as a lifter. So, avoid using it for lifting. Also, the user of this belt must have the ability to at least stand by themselves.
- Rose Health Care
- Health and Beauty
Using the Gait Belt in the Proper Way
Extra caution must be taken to ensure that you are using the gait belt properly, as any deviation from this may cause serious injuries.
Securing the gait belt around the patient is rather easy, just wrap the belt around the patient’s wait, with the buckle at the front. Then clasp the buckle. It is essential that the patient is wearing clothing, as any direct contact between the patient’s skin and the belt may cause skin abrasions.
Gait belts may also have the tendency to rise up towards the under arms if the patient is very thin. This may cause some distress and discomfort for the patient, as the buckle may hurt their chest and the straps may inflict pain as it slides up. A precaution that could be taken to avoid this from happening is to tuck a towel between the belt and the patient’s body. Once you have done this, fasten the belt and then adjust it so that it snugly fits around the patient.
A simple way to understand whether the belt is at the right adjustment is to place two fingers between the belt and the patient’s body. If you are able to slide your fingers in between without difficulty then the adjustment is perfect.
The ideal area to position the gait belt is just below the belly button, ideally the hips. This is due to the fact that the abdomen is much more flexible and has a greater tendency of changing size and shape, during inhaling and exhaling. Also, the patient may by instinct suck their abdomen in while the gait belt is being placed around their belly and this may interfere with the adjustment of the gait belt, being overly tight when they exhale.
A. Techniques to use during transferrals
During transferrals from one location to the other, such as the wheelchair and the bed, it is important to be slow and steady. Once you have attached the gait belt around the patient’s waist, by following the steps mentioned above, you must ensure that the patient is sitting up straight, with both of their feet touching the ground, but slightly open. Stand in between the patient’s leg and ensure you have enough room to manoeuvre and spin around. Slightly bend your knees and extend over to take hold of the loop or the handle in the lower back area of your patient. Without placing any strain on your back and ensuring that it is straight, lift your patient up into a standing position with the aid of the muscles in your arms and legs. Spin your legs in the direction of the area that you wish to move your patient and then with the help of the gait belt (this is when multiple handled gait belts are very useful) turn your patient into the same direction. Carefully lower your patient onto the bed or chair. Once you are sure that they have settled down and are firmly seated, you may let go of the gait belt.
The spinning motion during transferrals very important, as this takes any strain off from the patient’s legs and knees that could be caused from abrupt movement and tugging. When attempting to lift your patient also ensure that you place all strain on your abdomen, by tightening your muscles, to take any excessive strain off of your back.
B. Techniques to use during walking
When aiding a patient during walking, it is important that you walk slightly behind them on one side. This gives you the opportunity to take a good grasp of the loop on the back of the gait belt, and have full control during guiding. This tactic also ensures that you are not getting in the way of the patient and obstructing their path. An essential point to keep in mind with patients who have a very limited ability of even taking a step on their own, is to hold the loop at the back of the gait belt with two hands, for added support and strength to prevent the patient from falling.
If you feel that the patient is about to fall, do not tug at the gait belt, as this may cause unnecessary pain, instead bring yourself closer to them and gently pull at the gait belt to allow them sit on the ground. They can then use your leg as a source of support to stand back up, while you aid them with the gait belt. On the other hand, there may be times when you feel that the patient is losing balance, or they may let you know that they are doing so, just using the gait belt to pull gently to help them reclaim their balance.
C. Circumstances where changes need to be made to the positioning of the gait belt on the patient’s body
Usually the gait belt would be placed around the lower waist or the hips, however there are rare circumstances where the belt will need to be placed higher up, under the armpits. These situations are health and surgery related. Some such situations may be: any surgery that has taken place in the abdominal area, back surgery, umbilical or inguinal hernia, if a PEG tube is placed into the patient, if the patient has gone through a colostomy or ileostomy operation, and if the patient is pregnant. The area under the armpits is not the most stable areas in terms of width, when movement is involved, as in a standing position, the chest narrows and you may need to make further adjustments to the gait belt regularly, to prevent it from slipping down. The same tactic of placing two fingers in between the belt and the patient’s body can also be used here. While on men, the gait belt can be placed at a higher level on the body, for females there is an exception, as you need to ensure that the gait belt is not placed above or on top of the breasts.
How do I get one?
Gait belts can be purchased from medical equipment stores and online distributors. Their prices vary, depending on the extra features and qualities you are looking for (you can purchase the most basic one for about $5). It is always good to read reviews of the gait belt you are looking to buy, to see the experiences others have had with the particular belt you are interested in. Below we have five reviews of gait belts that we feel will accommodate you perfectly, regardless of what type of pain you’re experiencing and how large your home is and whether you’re looking to purchase one with some added features.
However, due to the fact that there are so many to choose from, it is essential that you get some professional advice from a doctor or a sale representative who can guide you in buying the one that best suits your needs.
Choosing the Perfect Gait Belt
There are many different varieties of gait belts on the market. While some have metal clasps with a cotton belt, others have metal buckles with a vinyl belt, or a plastic buckle with a cotton belt or a vinyl belt.
Firstly, let’s have a look at the plastic buckles on the vinyl belt. These are probably the first ones to avoid, since plastic buckles have a high tendency to break and the vinyl belts will most definitely slide on clothing and skin, especially when the patient has sweated. Due to their non-breathable material the vinyl belt will without doubt make you sweat, in turn making sliding inevitable. Also, adjusting vinyl belts may be much more difficult than adjusting cotton belts, as they have the tendency to slip from between the fingers.
On the other hand, gait belt’s made of cotton can be washed in the machine, and have the ability of absorbing your sweat, which suggests that there will be no slippage during transferrals and walking. It also grips your clothing and so stays firmly in the location that you initially fasten it.
Metal buckles are also highly advantageous over plastic ones, as they have several pointy teeth that grip each other firmly, eliminating the risk of coming undone. They are also much more durable and will be able to last you are very long time, even after extensive usage.
Other Gait Belts
Below are three other brands of gait belts that I thought were worth checking out. A gait belt is a necessity in every care and nursing home, as well as hospital.
Secure Transfer Walking Medical Gait Belt with 6 Caregiver hand grips
This STWB-52 gait belt by Secure is perfect for helping the caregiver during transferrals and walking. The nylon material of the gait belt is both durable and comfortable and is bound to last you for a very long time. The back of the belt is higher than the front (it is four inches tall) to ensure that the patient’s back gets much more support. The buckle is an EZ Release one and can therefore be fastened and unfastened within seconds. It has a total of 6 handles; 2 that are horizontal and 4 that are vertical, giving the belt its versatility, as the caregiver is able to guide the patient from all sides. The STWB-52 gait belt can be machine washed. It is suitable for a large range of waist sizes, all the way from 28” to 48”.
This gait belt by Secure has a taller back, providing extra support for the user, during walking and transferrals. Another benefit is the buckle, which provides much more ease and haste than the threading buckles that take longer to adjust and fasten.
A downside is that the belt has the tendency to lift up during movement, even lifting as far as the chest, which could cause discomfort and pain due to the buckle pushing into the skin. This slippage is caused by the belt’s soft and silky material.
- The Secure STWB-52 Transfer Walking Gait Belt with EZ Release Buckle is an essential and effective caregiver aid that helps with safe patient transfers, walking, and ambulation - Belt is made of durable, soft nylon material with ultra strong reinforced stitching that is guaranteed to last
- Four inch back is wider than traditional gait belts for more comfort and greater contact area with the patient - Quick release durable plastic buckle allows belt to be attached and detached with ease
- Features four vertical and two horizontal handles which allow the caregiver to choose the most effective leverage point to safely handle a patient, resident or loved one
- Belt is machine washable and made to last - Covered by a one year full-replacement guarantee and exceptional customer service - Fits waist sizes 28" to 48" - Belt Dimensions: 52" x 4"
- Do not be fooled by sellers of inferior copies of our unique gait belt design - Place your trust in Secure by Personal Safety Corporation, the brand trusted by over 7000 health care facilities across the US, Canada and Europe since 1991
Premium Gait Transfer Belt with Metal Buckle Beige
The Premium Gait Transfer Belt by Mars Wellness can be extended up to 60” in length. Despite its light weight, the gait belt is strong due to its 100% cotton material and promises to last you for a very long time. The metal buckle for fastening is easy and quick to use. This gait belt is a necessity for every care giver who has a patient that has trouble standing or walking without support. The added bonus is that it can be machine washed and dried at high temperatures. It makes transferrals from bed to chair, or chair to car hassle-free and easy. However, it is essential to keep in mind that depending on the weight and health situation of the user, two people may be needed to aid in the transferral. During transferrals, it is essential that you use the rocking and pulling motion instead of using the belt as a lifter. This causes less strain on your own body as well as the patient’s body.
This belt is not suitable for individuals who have recently had back or abdominal surgery. Before walking and transferrals, ensure that the buckle is tightly fastened. Make sure that the individual is wearing clothing, as direct contact between the patient’s skin and the belt may lead to abrasions.
The Premium Gait Transfer belt by Mars Wellness is strongly made and can endure the weight of heavier individuals. It is perfect for transferring your loved ones from one location to another and can even aid you during the recovery process after a major surgery or injury.
- Gait belt is designed to aid in walking or transferring fall risk patients - Adjustable up to 60" length
- Strong durable gait belt for lifting and supporting patients easily and efficiently
- Lightweight Gait Belt with good quality metal buckle - Secure harness buckle - Easy to fasten
- 100% Cotton webbing construction is durable and comfortable for the patient
- Helps prevent caregiver back injury and strain and Machine washable and dryable at high temperature setting
Secure Two Hand Grip Gait Belt with Quick Release Buckle
This two handled gait belt by Secure, is perfect for transferring patients from one platform to another safely, it will also aid you in supporting your patients during walking. It is made of nylon which gives it its durability, and it promises to last you for a very long time, even if used extensively. It has a plastic buckle which can be effortlessly released and fastened. The handles are placed at superb angles to give you the peace of mind as you assist your patients. They ensure that you get a good grip; this is especially useful during unexpected stumbling or potential loss of balances. It can be washed in a machine. This gait belt by Secure is 60” in length, meaning that it will fit a wide range of people with different waist lengths and 2” in width, giving the user a substantial amount of back support too.
The Secure Two Hand Grip Gait Belt is very light in weight and therefore will not feel like a burden to the user. It can also be used at therapy sessions for individuals who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease, as it will stop them from unexpected falling.
- Secure SGB2H-60B Two Hand Grip Gait Belt helps with safe patient transfers, walking, and ambulation - Belt is made of durable nylon material with ultra strong stitching
- Quick release durable plastic buckle allows belt to be attached and detached with ease
- Features two horizontal hand grips that give the caregiver a more secure hold on the patient while helping to prevent back injury
- Place your trust in Secure by Personal Safety Corporation, the brand trusted by thousands of health care facilities across the US, Canada and Europe since 1991
- Machine washable - Belt Dimensions: 60" x 2" - Covered by our exclusive one year full-replacement guarantee and exceptional customer service