Best Gait Belts in 2020: Safe and Effective Care Giving at Home or Hospital

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A gait belt is one of the most critical items for proper care of patients in a healthcare environment, whether at home, hospital, or LTC facility. It helps the caretaker to stand, walk, transfer, or ambulate safely patients and the elderly who have considerable fall risk. Fall risk means that the patient can fall easily if they try to move on their own. Gait belts also assist in physical therapy. Besides, a gait belt helps to prevent caregiver injury.

Choosing the most suitable gait belt can help the caregiver overcame the daily challenges of the great responsibility of helping the patient get better. These specially designed belts make it possible to avoid the pain and discomfort of grabbing a recovering patient by the pants or the back of arms. The probability of injuries for both parties is reduced significantly. This means additional peace of mind.

Factors to consider when choosing the best gait belt

The weight of the concerns associated with using a gait belt should make anyone extra careful when choosing one. Using the wrong belt, or using the right one in the wrong way, can lead to serious patient and caregiver injury. To get such concerns out of the way, take sufficient time to assess each selection-worthy gait belt based on the following criteria.

  • Belt construction – Ultimately, you want a gait belt that’s strong and durable. The width of the belt, the material used, and the webbing pattern influence its sturdiness and longevity. Cotton and nylon are the most commonly used materials. For most belts, the width ranges from two to four inches. Closely knit webbing makes the belt sufficiently strong to withstand the wearer’s weight.
  • Buckle – The standard gait belt design features a metal or plastic buckle. Metal buckles are designed with loops and teeth. These help to create a stronghold so that the belt doesn’t give in to the pulling effect of the patient’s weight. Plastic buckles are designed to snap into place. Generally, a big majority of users prefer metal buckles to plastic ones citing more strength as the reason for their preference.
  • Adjustability: Gait belt designers specify the waist size ranges that the belt suits. Choosing the right belt for the patient’s waist size sounds like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised at the number of people who miss this consideration. You don’t want to end up with a belt that’s either too long or too short for the patient’s waist size.
  • Handles – Handles on gait belts offer the caregiver the freedom to choose the angle from which to support the patient. They also make lifting easier.
  • Cleaning: After a long day of using the gait belt, it’s normal for it to catch a little sweat or some kind of dirt. It’s important to consider, beforehand, how easy the belt is to clean and dry. There are gait belts that can be machine-washed and dried. However, not all are like this.

Overview of 10 Best Gait Belts in 2020

1. Secure SGBM-60S Patient Transfer and Walking Gait Belt

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Don’t wait until your patient or loved one has fallen. This inexpensive walking and transfer belt will help you give them the support they need to get out of bed or up from a chair and when walking around. It’s well-built for strength and durability. Below, its features tell you this and more.

Features of Secure SGBM-60S Gait Belt

  • 100% cotton webbing construction
  • High-tensile rust-resistant metal buckle
  • Quick machine washing and drying [high-temperature setting]
  • A convenient loop that holds excess belt length
  • Adjustable up to 60 inches length
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs.

Reasons to buy Secure SGBM-60S

Many users recommend this gait belt for physical therapy as well as walking stability. Cotton material doesn’t slip and is comfortable for everyday use. In addition, the belt is easy to wash and dry. This is especially crucial for infection control purposes. The metal buckle assures you of patient safety with its secure closure.

2. Vive Gait Belt (60 Inch)

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Has your PT recommended a cotton gait belt with a metal buckle? Vive made this one for seniors and other users needing bariatric, pediatric, occupational, and physical therapy. Designed with medical nursing safety guidelines, the belt is sturdy and looks clean. Important to note, it is fully adjustable to fit all waist sizes up to 60 inches.

Key Highlights

  • Heavy-duty, quick-release buckle that secures the desired size with secure locking teeth
  • Strong 100% cotton webbing; supports weight up to 500 lbs.
  • 2” belt width makes sure it doesn’t eat into the wearer’s flesh
  • Integrated elastic loop secures excess belt length to keep it out of the way

Why buy this Vive gait belt?

The belt is easy to put on, adjust, or and remove thanks to its quick-release buckle. It suits many purposes, including lifting a person who has weak leg muscles, walking individuals who’ve had a hip replacement or securing a fall risk patient in a chair. Furthermore, patient transfer or ambulation is way easier with this Vive gait belt.

3. LiftAid Walking Gait Belt

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After a serious health event like a stroke or car accident, the patient needs time to recover. Meanwhile, they may need to wear a gait belt to keep certain body parts steady as body strength comes back slowly. LiftAid made this high-strength gait belt for purposes like these and more.

Main highlights

  • Size: 60” length by 2” width
  • High-strength nylon webbing; tested and proven appropriate for body weights up to 300 lbs
  • Handy sliding rubber strip conveniently holds the unused end
  • Metal clip at the belt’s end prevents fraying

Should you choose this gait belt?

Yes, you should consider it if you want to make your caregiving tasks easier and safer. Despite a few users’ complaints about the buckle is difficult to operate for individuals with arthritis, it is strong enough for patient lifting and transfer. Also, the loop at the end is a unique and smart feature that makes using the belt easier.

4. Secure Transfer Gait Belt with Handles

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Leading gait belt brand Secure is back. This time, it presents a transfer gait belt with handles and a guarantee of standing up to the rigors of day-to-day caregiving at the nursing home, hospice, hospital, or at home. It measures 52” long and 4” wide; significantly wider than most gait belts available today.

Key features

  • Nylon construction with ultra-reinforced stitching
  • Adjustable length to fit waist sizes from 28 – 50 inches
  • 4 vertical and 2 horizontal handles
  • Hardened plastic buckle
  • The belt is machine-washable

Reasons to choose

In addition to being a good-looking option due to the mix of black (belt) and blue (handles) colors, the belt is dependably sturdy. It allows you to perform transfer, ambulation and walking of fall risk patients safely. The numerous handles give you the freedom of choice on which leverage point to support the patient or loved one effectively. Noteworthy, Personal Safety Corporation stands behind it with a solid guarantee.

5. COW&COW Gait Belt 60inch

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If you are looking for a long, durable gait belt for lifting hospital or resident patients, COW&COW has the kind you need. Many physical therapists and certified nurses use this belt for after-surgery fall risk patient care. With its proper use, strength building is easier, and walking unassisted is just a few weeks away.

Noteworthy highlights 

  • 2” width and length options 54”, 60” and 72”
  • Comfortable cotton webbing construction
  • Nickel-chrome plated steel buckle that’s easy to fasten and remove
  • Belt weight capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Quick machine wash and hang to dry

Reasons to buy

Yanking on your patient’s or loved one’s arms or grabbing them by the pants is far from the best care. It’s painful and/or humiliating, and they don’t have to go through such. This gait belt will help you aid their movement in a comfortable, pain-free, and respectful way. You are also safer from injuries that can result from lifting heavy weights without lifting aids.

6. Sammons Preston Gait Belt

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Maintaining balance while working on standing and walking is crucial to the well-being of a senior or stroke patient. Sammons thought about balance and ease of use when designing this gait belt. Its sturdiness gives you the confidence of lifting a patient during transfer. Meanwhile, wearers feel safe taking steps to build on their walking.

Belt highlights to note

  • 2-inch width makes a thick belt that resists pressure and pulling
  • Non-slip metal buckle
  • Varying length and color options to meet different users’ needs
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs. (approximate)

Reasons to buy it

Right away, we note that this belt is longer than the average belt. Another thing worth mentioning is that it complies with the Handivan policy – every Handivan passenger should be strapped in for the trip. Besides, it’s an ideal choice for many physical therapy exercises. Some users note that the belt may feel stiff at first, but it takes just a couple of days to get broken for easy release.

7. NYOrtho Transfer Gait Belt with 6 Handles

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Gait belts with handles are back savers. If you know this from experience, this 4”wide NYOrtho transfer gait belt is what you should get. Unlike 2” belts, this belt offers greater contact area for better dispersion of pressure. Also, like other wider belts, it is less likely to roll up. See more about this ergonomically designed gait belt below.

Unique features

  • 4-inch-high back
  • 4 vertical handles and 2 horizontal handles placed conveniently for quick, easy, and safe patient grabbing when needed
  • Quick-release buckle fastens belt size adjustment securely with a click
  • Sturdy nylon webbing for exceptional strength and durability
  • Adjustability: accommodates waist sizes from 28 to 55 inches
  • Universal sizing for all weight ranges and ages groups

Why buy?

You cannot fail to love the handles around the belt’s circumference. Secondly, its easy-on & easy-off design impresses even doctors who have not used it before. Whatever the current mobility challenges are, this gait belt will make them go away. The stability it gives to both the patient and the caregiver deserves applause.

8. TKWC INC – #2305 – Lift Gait Belt

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A soft, well-padded, wide nylon transfer belt can mean the difference between painful injury events and quick recovery. TKWC Inc. presents this extra-wide belt with padded handles to make fall risk patient lifting easier for the caregiver and safer for the patient. Does it come with handles? Learn more about its features below.

Incredible features and capabilities

  • Belt length and material: 55 inches nylon webbing
  • 4” back reduces the pressure associated with 2” gait belts
  • Oversized buckle for quick tightening and loosing
  • 2 horizontal and 4 vertical handles
  • Cross-stitching enhancement at every handle attachment position – facilitates a secure handle grip during lifting
  • Easily hand washed and dried

Why buy this gait belt?

It’s a perfect choice for a severely handicapped patient or family member. The easy to use buckle left quite an impression on us. Furthermore, the belt rolls up into a lightweight roll for hassle-free storage.

9. Vive Transfer Belt with Leg Loops

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Vive has advanced the basic design of its gait belts. Leg loops have been added to offer more angles of support for the patient. This belt has been recommended by many doctors for bariatric, pediatric, and elderly care, as well as occupational and physical therapy. If you are looking for easy ambulation and transfer of patients from beds and chairs, this belt is great for hospital and home use.

Key features

  • Adjustable for a customized fit to suit waist sizes up to 55 inches
  • Strong nylon webbing with reinforced stitching, offering extra security and durability
  • 2 adjustable leg loops provide anchorage for the belt so that it doesn’t ride up
  • Fully adjustable plastic buckles
  • Padded handles – 4 vertical and 2 horizontal

Reasons to buy

Superior weight distribution is the main competing aspect of this patient lift aid. This is established by the adjustable leg loops. In addition, 6 convenient grab handles offer extra safety while lifting the patient. The belt works well for weights up to 350 lbs.

10. L.E.D STEP Gait Belt

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On the number #10 position is this comfortable L.E.D STEP gait belt. Falls or balance loss should not be a concern when it’s on. Thanks to its well-stitched construction with thick materials, it offers sturdy yet comfortable support to the wearer. You can adjust it to different lengths depending on the respective size needs.

Main features

  • The quick-release plastic buckle makes it easy to adjust the length or remove the belt
  • Soft plastic padded handles reinforced with padded webbing – for ergonomic handling and lifting
  • 4-inch wide pad provides back support
  • Size adjustments from 28 to 52 inches

Why buy this gait belt?

High-quality, thick webbing sets this belt apart from the competition. Also, the padding on the handles and back support put a smile on caregivers because it means more comfortable lifting. While the belt is a bit bulky, it is extremely well made. Handles stand out, unlike in some belts where handles are floppy and difficult to grab quickly in case of an emergency.

 

Final word

Avoiding pain and injury are the top concerns of moving a patient or senior with serious mobility issues, either caused by an accident or an illness. Gait belts help the caregiver to support effectively and safely without exposing either person to injury. If this is what you need, consider any of the user recommended gait belts reviewed above.

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