A gait belt is an assistive device which can be
used to help safely transfer a person from a bed to a wheelchair, assist with
sitting and standing, and help with walking around. It is secured around the
waist to allow a caregiver to grasp the belt to assist in lifting or moving a
person. When used properly, the belt protects the care recipient from falling
and also protects the caregiver from injuring his or her back as they lift or
move the care recipient.
A gait belt is usually 1-  to 4 inches wide,
and 54-60 inches long. The belt is made out of canvas, nylon, or leather with a
buckle at one end.
A standard gait belt has a
metal buckle that has loops and teeth. Thread the belt through the teeth of the
buckle and then put the belt through the loop to lock it . A quick-release gait
belt has a plastic buckle that snaps into place to clip the two ends together.
Benefits & Features
A gait belt should be used if
the care recipient is partially dependent and has some weight-bearing capacity.
Here are some benefits of using a gait belt:
assistance to the caregiver in moving an individual from one place to
another. Gait belts can also be used to help raise a care recipient
without straining the back.
- Allows a
caregiver to help stabilize a care recipient who loses his or her balance
while walking. The belt acts as a handle that allows a caregiver to easily
grasp onto the belt and stabilize the care recipient.
Be extra careful if the care recipient has a
- Helps protect
the care recipient and caregiver from unnecessary injuries.
feeding tube, catheter, or medical issues involving their abdominal area.
Consult with a physician about proper lifting under these conditions to find
out if using a gait belt is safe.