A gait belt, also referred to as a walking belt, is a device worn around the waist. This device is used to provide support and increase safety during transferring or walking. A gait belt is available in different materials like cotton or nylon and in different styles such as a plain belt or a belt with handles. This assistive device is indicated for residents that are cooperative and those that are able to bear some weight on their legs. Proper use of a gait belt is necessary to decrease potential injury to the caregiver or patient.
- 1 Fasten the gait belt around the resident's waist with the buckle placed in front of the resident.
- 2 Check the tightness of the gait belt. The belt should fit snugly, but you should be able to slip your fingers between the belt and the resident's waist.
- 3 Assist the resident to a standing position.
- 4 Place one hand on the portion of the gait belt at the front of the resident's waist and place your other hand on the portion of the gait belt at the resident's back.
- 5 Instruct the resident to walk forward beginning with her strong leg.
- 6 Walk to the side and slightly behind the resident.
- 7 Assist the resident into a chair or onto the side of the bed after walking.
- 8 Remove the gait belt after the resident is comfortable.