Transfer Belts

Transfer Belts

Assisted transfers can happen multiple times per day for adults with limited mobility. This includes moving a patient between their bed and a chair or helping them stand and walk. Using a gait belt or transfer belt increases safety, both for the patient and the caregivers.

These belts can prevent an accident or fall by providing extra support and a good grip. They also help prevent back injury since caregivers can hold the patient near their center of gravity.

What is a Gait Belt?

Gait belts and physical therapy belts are also known as transfer belts and look almost like a normal belt. Designed to transfer, support and stabilize the patient in the event of a loss of balance. They are a strong 2-to 4-inch belt with a metal or plastic buckle. They are designed to transfer and support patients safely without using a lift.

Gait belts are an easy and affordable way to move patients safely. These belts are assistive devices that help move a person safely and easily from one location to another. They fit snugly around the person's waist, giving the caregiver a firm hold. Rather than holding a person by the arms or shoulders, a caregiver can grasp the belt or by the belt handles and support the person from the waist.

Gait belts come in a range of styles and sizes. Choose between standard or bariatric gait belts, depending on the person and their mobility needs. Transfer belts with handles are especially helpful for patients unsteady on their feet.

Standard Gait Belts

Standard gait belts support safe transfers, repositioning, and walking. These transfer belts have metal buckles for added safety and security. Standard belts range from 60 to 72 inches long. On average, gait belts have a weight capacity of 250 lbs.

To use a standard gait belt, thread the belt through the metal teeth on the buckle, then pass it back through the loop. This securely locks the belt into place. Standard gait belts won’t slip during a transfer, but they take longer to remove.

Bariatric Gait Belt

Heavy-duty transfer belts are stronger than standard gait belts. They range from 72 to 96 inches long. They also have an increased weight capacity of up to 450 lbs. Most bariatric belts have metal buckles for added safety.

Quick Release Gait Belts

For a quick release option, select a transfer belt with a Delrin plastic side-release buckle. Quick-release plastic buckles clip the belt together in moments, and it snaps easily into place. To remove the gait belt, press on the sides of the buckle. This belt is very convenient for frequent transfers per day.

However, it’s not as secure as the standard transfer belt. The plastic side-release buckle may break more easily than the metal buckle. It's also slightly more difficult to adjust since the buckle doesn't have teeth to prevent the belt from slipping.

Machine Washable Transfer Belts

Transfer belts are made of durable cotton webbing with a plastic coating for easy cleaning. The coating seals the belt to prevent the spread of bacteria. Most gait belts are machine washable, and you can also clean them with a spray-on disinfectant and cloth.

How to Use Transfer Belts

Start by placing the belt around the person's waist, on top of their clothes, and buckle it securely. Ensure it’s tight enough to stay in place but loose enough that you can fit your fingers under the belt. When you’re ready to transfer the person, hold onto the belt with both hands and lift with your knees rather than your back.