𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐍𝐎𝐓 𝐔𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐆𝐚𝐢𝐭 𝐁𝐞𝐥𝐭 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐋𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐎𝐧𝐞?
If you have a loved one with mobility issues, please be sure to add a gait belt to your caregiving toolset!
Many family caregivers may view gait belts as tools exclusive to medical professionals or healthcare facilities. However, the truth is that gait belts play a crucial role in home caregiving, offering vital support and prevention and ensuring the safety of BOTH the caregiver and their loved one.
Why Gait Belts Matter:
* Provide essential support during transfers.
* Prevent accidents and falls.
* Safeguard caregivers from potential injuries.
Our latest video is the beginning of part of our caregiver learning series that is dedicated to empowering family caregivers with the knowledge they need to use gait belts effectively. From understanding their significance to mastering the right techniques, we've got you covered! Thank you to Family Nurse Practitioner Melissa Allen with Myriad HealthCare for partnering with us to create this video.
Watch the video now to discover the importance of gait belts and kickstart your caregiving journey with confidence.
Stay tuned for more videos in our caregiver learning series, where we dive deeper into the art of caregiving. Your commitment makes a world of difference!
#HomeHelpersCares #HomeHelpersBradenton #CaregiverLearningSeries #CaregivingEssentials #GaitBeltWisdom #EmpowerWithCare
[Jonathan] Oftentimes, family caregivers see a gait belt as a tool that is only used by therapists or medical professionals in facilities such as hospitals. However, family caregivers don't always realize how critical the gait belt is for providing care to their loved ones, for prevention, and for protecting themselves from injuries. Even when they understand the importance of using a gait belt, they are not always familiar with the proper way to use it. So today I have with me Melissa Allen, a nurse practitioner and owner of Myriad HealthCare here in Bradenton, Florida. And in this video, we'll go over some of the basics of using a gait belt. And we're right here in our training room at home. Helpers. Are you ready to learn more? Let's go.
So tell me, Melissa, what exactly is a gait belt?
[Melissa] A gait belt is an assistive device designed to support caregivers and individuals who require assistance with ambulation and transfers. Some examples of when you might use a gait belt are to assist a person when transferring from a bed to a wheelchair, from a wheelchair to a car, or to a commode. It can also be used to steady someone's gait and provide support during ambulation, or in other words when walking. The gait belt is securely fastened around the waist, allowing caregivers to grasp and use it to support the individual. When used correctly, the gait belt serves as a protective measure for both the care recipient and the caregiver. It helps prevent falls and safeguards caregivers from potential back injuries while assisting with transfers or ambulation.
[Jonathan] Now, let's delve into the specifics. While there are many types of gait belts, today we're going to use a standard gait belt, which is the type you'll see most frequently used. It's equipped with a metal buckle featuring loops and teeth. So to secure it, you'll simply thread the belt through the buckle and then pass it through the loop to lock it in place. You can easily find gait belts at medical supply stores, pharmacies, or even online platforms like Amazon and retail stores such as WalMart. They're relatively inexpensive, and some are available for under $10.
So, Melissa. So now, let's address the crucial question. Who is a good candidate for using a gait belt?
[Melissa] Gait belts are especially beneficial for care recipients who require assistance to ambulate and have balance impairment but also have at least some degree of weight-bearing capacity and cannot assist with their own transfers.
[Jonathan] Okay. So tell me, Melissa, who is not a good candidate for using a gait belt?
[Melissa] Somebody who cannot bear weight on their legs or requires total assistance is not a good candidate.
[Jonathan] Okay. So now the big question, Melissa, is why do we use a gait belt?
[Melissa] Here are some key benefits: Gait belts provide vital assistance to caregivers in moving individuals from one place to another, facilitating smooth transitions without straining the caregiver's back. It also acts as a handle, allowing caregivers to stabilize a care recipient who may lose balance while walking. Both the recipient and the caregiver benefit from gait belts by reducing the risk of unnecessary injuries during transfers. It's crucial to exercise extra caution if the recipient has specific medical conditions or medical equipment, such as a feeding tube or catheter, or issues involving the abdominal area. Always consult a medical provider to determine the safety of using a gait belt during these conditions.
[Jonathan] Now, let's demonstrate how to put on a gait belt. You put it around the individual's waist. Aim for the belly button area, allowing some flexibility for comfort. It can be slightly above or below the belly button if necessary, depending on what is most comfortable for the person who is being cared for. Try not to have the gait belt rub against the person's skin by placing the gait belt over the person's clothing. As you secure the gait belt, ensure that it's snug but not too tight. And here's a handy tip. We recommend that the caregiver can comfortably fit about four fingers between the belt and the individual. This ensures a secure fit without causing any discomfort. Now, for the sake of this video, we will assume that the care recipient can stand on their own. Now let's discuss how easily the gait belt can be adjusted. Once the person is upright, the caregiver can make any necessary adjustments to the tightness of the belt to ensure optimal comfort and support. This adaptability is a key feature of gait belts, allowing for personalized comfort without compromising safety. Now that you have the gait belt on, the caregiver is going to stand behind and slightly beside the individual, allowing for optimal positioning and support. Once the person is safely seated, we can simply go through the reverse process of removing the gait belt.
[Jonathan] Melissa, so before we close, tell us a little bit about Myriad HealthCare.
[Melissa] Thank you, Jonathan. I'm really excited to share a little bit about my practice, Myriad HealthCare. We specialize in providing primary care as well as chronic disease management for conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. One thing that sets us apart is that we can actually go into a person's home where we can perform a thorough assessment, review their medical problems, prescribe medication, order any tests that might be needed, and much more. Thank you again for having me today, and I look forward to future episodes.
[Jonathan] And we want to thank you for coming, Melissa, and to our audience. Thank you for joining us for this episode of our Caregiver Education. And until next time, we'll see you soon. Take care.
HOME HELPERS OF BRADENTON
Home Helpers of Bradenton is one of the region's leading home care franchises specializing in comprehensive services for seniors. Home Helpers' sole mission is to make life easier for clients and their families. Based in Bradenton, Florida, the company serves all of Manatee County, including the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Palmetto, and Parrish. For more information or to request a free in-home care assessment, contact our office at (941) 499-5946
or visit our website at www.homehelpershomecare.com/bradenton