Gait Belt: FSA Eligibility
What is a gait belt?
A gait belt, also commonly referred to as a transfer belt, is a device that is designed to be worn around a person's waist to make it easier for a caregiver to transfer him/her from one spot to another. In addition to making it more safe and secure to move a person, gait belts allow caregivers to control a patient's balance, as well as having an additional failsafe to rely on and grab onto in the event that a dependent falls. Gait belts are also extremely helpful for caregivers with back issues, as grabbing onto this belt when lifting can dramatically reduce the strain on one's back when lifting upward (Drugs.com).
How is a gait belt used?
When moving a dependent, caregivers will start by placing the gait belt on the person's waist, ideally between the bottom of the patient's rib cage and the top of the pelvis. Caregivers should always lift by keeping their knees bent, tightening their abdominal muscles to protect one's back and avoiding any twisting motions to avoid injury.
Gait belts are fitted with multiple straps along the side that can allow caregivers to stand, turn and walk safely with their dependents. Caregivers should always walk behind and slightly to the side while holding onto a gait belt, which can give them additional leverage to correct a dependent's balance and help him/her regain it in the event of a mishap. These belts are one of the easiest ways to prevent injuries when assisting in caregiver duties for a sick, elderly or other type of dependent and are available in a variety of materials to suit one's needs (LIVESTRONG).