People who are old, injured, or went through a spinal surgery recently may find it challenging to move from one place to another. Such patients need assistance from a nurse or caregiver to perform tasks like walking, moving, etc. A gait belt is one such safety device that is used to help the patients stand, sit, walk, or transfer from their beds to the wheelchairs or vice versa.
A gait belt with handles is secured around the waist of the patient to reduce the chances of losing balance and falling, both for the caregiver and the patient. The belt also diminishes the physical stress a nurse is put through while pulling the patient, thereby decreasing the chances of obtaining a back injury.
A gait belt is wide and made of nylon, cotton, canvas, and leather and has a buckle at the end. The belt is also very long and so, it can fit a person of any size. The use of a gait belt with handles is to provide support to a person while moving, as the caregiver can easily assist the person in walking by holding the handles on the belt firmly. If the patient loses balance or any obstacle comes in between, the caregiver can easily grasp the handle and prevent the patient from falling.
1. Prevents Falls – A patient who is recovering from an injury or surgery may feel weak and dizzy at times. This can even be when they are trying to walk or stand. If a caregiver holds them by hand and assists the patient in moving, when the patient loses balance, the caregiver has to hold the patient tightly, which may injure the patient.
In case the patient is wearing the belt, all the person has to do is hold the belt to balance the patient without causing any injury. However, if the patient has any fluid tubes near the abdomen area, the belt should be used carefully so that no harm is caused due to the tubes.
2. Helps while transferring patient – Patients with partial movement may find it difficult to sit on the chair from their bed or vice versa. Without a belt, helping such a person may cause stress and pain in the caregiver as well as the patient.
The handles on the belt lets the caregiver get a solid hold of the patient and makes it easier for the caregiver to transfer the patient. If the caregiver maintains proper posture, they can avoid heavy lifting as well as straining their backs.
3. Walking Becomes Easier – A gait belt proves to be beneficial when a person is recovering from an injury or surgery and has been advised to walk by their physiotherapist as a part of their recovery. The belt supports the spine of the patient and while they are walking.
Moreover, if the patient loses balance, their caregiver can easily hold the belt and prevent them from falling. The caregiver can even guide the patient through the belt and help them avoid colliding with an obstacle or sharp edge of the furniture.
4. Controlling the Patient’s Movement Effectively – A gait belt with handles allows the caregiver to exercise greater yet subtle control over the patient. If the patient loses balance or begins walking in the wrong direction, the handles on the belt let the caregiver maintain a firm control and avoid the patient from doing so.
5. Avoids Accident – By using the belt while transferring the patient from their bed to wheelchair or vice versa, a caregiver can avoid getting back injuries. Lifting the patient without any assistance can cause strain and as a result, the caregiver may experience an unnecessary spinal injury.
Gait belts are very effective medical devices used to assist a patient in moving and walking. They also make the job of caregiver to transfer the patients with limited mobility from their wheelchair to bed or from their bed to their wheelchair easier. Apart from this, this belt can be held if the patient loses balance and may fall.
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