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How to Provide Safety for Elderly at Home ?
Just like with our young kids or grandkids, our elderly parents may require extra safety helps. As they get older, falling often becomes a concern. For those using recliners who are dealing with memory issues, they may sometimes forget how to operate the chair. And what happens if they go for a walk on their own and forget how to get home. Sadly, our area often gets silver alerts to be on the lookout for an elderly senior who is missing. What’s a caregiver to do when striving towards the goal of keeping elderly safe at home?
This is not a be-all end-all list of solutions. I don’t know that there will ever be one. Though I suppose those robots they keep talking about might help. 🙂 But until a good one, that is safe AND affordable, is available, I do have a few ideas that might help. And so begins this series of tips for keeping elderly safe at home – whether our elderly parents, other elderly relatives, etc.
Gait Belts and Elderly Parents
I decided to start with gait belts, as we recently purchased a new one. We learned about gait belts with my elderly dad when he was on hospice after years of dealing with Parkinson’s Disease. The therapist recommended the basic belt with one of those tighteners that require you to loop it in and around. Personally, I find those very challenging. I may be techy with computers but I am definitely not mechanical minded! It worked though and did help us as we worked together at our goal of keeping elderly safe at home – namely my sweet dad!
What are Gait Transfer Belts?
Basically, gait transfer belts go around the elderly parent’s waist. When they need help getting up from a chair or while they’re walking, you have the belt to grab onto, hopefully with some handle loops, and it really is much easier to help them. I have also found it helpful when an elderly parent has fallen and needs assistance to get up. It gives them and me a bit of extra protection. This is what our original one looked like. Pretty simplistic.
Here’s a video demonstrating that type of gait belt.
Researching Gait Belts for Elderly Parents
Recently, I discovered some new options. WOW! Such a LOT of options! Here are SOME of them.
Secure Transfer and Walking Gait Belt with 6 Caregiver Hand Grips – Patient Ambulation Medical Assist Aid (52LiftAid Walking Gait Belt and Patient Transfer with Metal Buckle and Belt Loop Holder for Nurse, Caregiver, Physical Therapist (Purple, 60Transfer Belt With Handles by Vive – Medical Nursing Safety Gait Assist Device – Bariatrics, Pediatric, Elderly, Occupational & Physical Therapy – Long Gate Strap Quick Release Metal Buckle – 55 InchTransfer Gait Belt with Metal Buckle 1 Loop Handle Beige 60 inches. Available 1 Loop Handle: Beige 72Vive Gait Belt – Transfer Assist Device for Seniors, Elderly, Pediatrics, Bariatrics, Occupational and Physical Therapy – Medical Nursing Safety Long Gate Strap with Quick Release Metal Buckle – 60 InLiftAid Transfer & Walking Gait Belt w/Metal Buckle & Belt Loop Holder for Therapist, Nurse, Home Care – 60Gait Belt by LiftAid – Stylish Patient Walking and Transfer Belt with Metal Buckle – Assits Nurses, Caregivers, Occupational and Physical Therapy – Washable – 60Sammons Preston Padded Gait Belt with Handles, 5.5Gaitbelt.com VINYL GAIT BELT (60EMI 60Transfer Belt with Leg Loops by Vive – Medical Nursing Safety Gait Assist Device – Bariatrics, Pediatric, Elderly, Occupational & Physical Therapy – Long Strap & Quick Release Metal Buckle – 55 InchMedical Gait Belt, Soft Nylon Transfer Belt With 6 Handles And Quick Release Buckle, Machine Washable – Back 4Medical Gait Belt, Soft Nylon Transfer Belt With 6 Handles And Quick Release Buckle, Machine Washable – Back 4Gait Belt with Plastic Buckle by LiftAid – Transfer and Walking Aid with Belt Loop Holder for Assisting Therapist, Nurse, Home Care – 60OasisSpace Transfer Belt with Handles – Medical Gait Belt Nursing Safety Assist Device with Metal Buckle – 2 in 1 Standing Support Aid Kit for Patient, Elderly, Physical TherapySammons Preston Quick-Release Gait Belt, Mobility & Walking Aid for Hospital & Home Use, Functional Recovery & Stability Training Device for Elderly, Handicapped, and Disabled, 72MTS Medical Supply Safety Sure Mary’s Aide Transfer Sling, 1 PoundsJDM Medical Elite Gait Belt with Handles for Transfer and Mobility AssistanceQEES Gait Belt with Handles Secure Thicken Breathable Transfer Belt SYD03MTS Medical Supply Economy Gait Belt with Hand Grips, Patient Transfer and Walking Gait Belt with Plastic Buckle for Caregiver, Nurse, Therapist, 60′
After spending an hour plus on researching and reading the various reviews and looking at the options, I ended up purchasing one for my elderly mom to “test drive.” We thought it would be a big help for our latest goal of “Keeping Elderly Safe at Home” – this time meaning my sweet mom.
Posey Gait Transfer Belt
I chose the Posey Gait Belt. It is also known as the Posey Gait Transfer Belt or the Posey Transfer Gait Belt. I picked it because, from the description and the photos, it appeared to:
- be sturdy
- have good sized, easy to grab loops
- have an easier latch
- be reasonably priced, though not the cheapest
- was good sized
- looked comfortable
Here’s a video demonstrating how to use a gait belt that is similar to the Posey Gait Belt when transferring from chairs, walkers, etc.. It includes some important warnings, no matter WHAT gait transfer belt you are using.
Thumbs Up for This Gait Belt for Elderly Mom
All of this is, of course, subject to further research as my elderly mom uses it. We have tested it out a couple of times and so far, she does think it feels comfortable. The latch is definitely easier to use than our original gait belt. The one disadvantage is that it is very easy for her to unclasp also. So she tends to take it off. That being said, I am still happy with it. If she were to fall, it should be fairly easy to slide it around her to help me get her back up. Overall I am very happy with it and do recommend it as a good option if you are looking for a gait belt for your elderly parent.
More Safety Tips with Gait Belts and Falls
This video was very helpful though it does require more people than I usually have around. But when my grandkids are older, it will be helpful. And if you are working at “keeping elderly safe at home, hopefully it will be a help for you as well! 🙂
On the other hand, this shows one caregiver helping the elderly relative up. It doesn’t show a gait belt however one would definitely help. I thought this was definitely helpful. How about you?
Gift Ideas Elderly Parents Can Use!
Yes, practical and pragmatic they are. AND great for keeping elderly safe at home But gait transfer belts also make excellent gift ideas elderly parents can put to practical use! And while they might never think to buy them for themselves, hopefully they will be too practical NOT to put them to good use! For that matter, they also make thoughtful gift ideas for caregivers at Christmas or other times. Think about it. You aren’t just giving them a gait belt. You may also be giving them many years of a healthy back!
Do You Have A Favorite Gait Belt?
Do you have a gait belt for your elderly parents? Any comments or suggestions? We’d love to hear!