Safe Handling Of A Loved One Keeps The Caregiver Safe Too
A transfer or gait belt is a device used to make it easier and safer to move people with limited strength and mobility. This protects the caregiver from injury providing an ergonomic solution handling a loved one. A transfer belt also provides more confidence for the loved one to feel more secure when walking, toileting or transferring. The risk of injury is minimized by holding onto the transfer belt instead of grabbing under the arms of loved one.
The proper way to apply the belt is to place the belt around the loved one's waist. Tighten the belt just enough to allow at least two fingers between the belt and the body. This is to be done over clothing or a gown, avoiding direct contact with the skin. The caregiver needs to reach under the transfer belt with palms up when securing the belt with their fingers. If the belt is too loose, it may slip and increase the risk of an injury. The transfer belt should be removed once the loved one is sitting in the desired location.
Juli Ernst, OTA
Restorative Coordinator for Long Term Care Facility