Why You Need a Gait Belt!

Timing is such an interesting thing…I have been working for Avenue Home Care as the Relations Manager since the beginning of 2019. That is around the time that my family decided it was time to put my Grammy into a residential senior living facility because she was no longer able to walk without assistance and was a fall risk (in fact she had fallen several times and sometimes has to wait HOURS before someone found her to help her back up).

Fast forward a few months and my Grammy has now settled into her new life in her new home, which thankfully, she LOVES! She is now close to family who can regularly visit her and check-in on her, and that has been so wonderful! About a week ago while trying to get herself out of bed, she reached for her walker and missed and fell to the floor…HARD. Thankfully she is in a facility where she wears a device that she can push to signal to the caregivers when she needs help. When the sweet caregivers arrived to find my Grammy flat in the floor and in agonizing pain, they were unable to lift her and get her into a chair. The paramedics had to be called and they sent her to the hospital for some x-rays.

The x-rays revealed that she had broken her right humerus bone.

Because my sweet Grammy has to use BOTH arms to use her walker, this diagnosis meant that for the next three months or so, she will be wheelchair and bed bound. No more walking except with the help of several caregivers in physical therapy.

I was visiting my Grammy a few days ago when she said she needed to use the restroom. She was, at this time, still in her bed. I looked at her with complete bewilderment as I had NO CLUE what to do or what the process was?! She pushed her call button and because of her injured arm, two caregivers were called to get my Grammy out of her bed and into her wheelchair to then wheel her to the bathroom, lift her up, sit her on the toilet, lift her BACK up, put her in the wheelchair, wheel her back to her bed and lift her AGAIN to put her in her bed. She was in excruciating pain every time they had to lift her (one lifted her from her left armpit area, and the other would grab whatever she could from her pajama bottoms to lift her from the back).

There HAD to be a better way….

THANKFULLY since the beginning of this year I work in an office where I have several medical supplies designed to help with just such problems right at my fingertips (like I said earlier…timing is EVERYTHING!)

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Enter the GAIT BELT. This belt goes around the patients waist (see video here), and gives the caregivers something STURDY and SECURE to hold onto while they lift and transport the patient (see an example of it in use here).

This has been an absolute game changer for my Grammy since her fall. The caregivers no longer have to try lifting her from her armpits or try finding some piece or clothing to hold onto while transporting her, saving them energy and my Grammy the excruciating pain. For now, it will still take two caregivers to lift and transport my Grammy because her legs are still very weak from being in bed, BUT in the next couple of weeks, myself or any of our other family members with proper training, will be able to assist my Grammy without the assistance of a caregiver.

If you or someone you know have been entrusted with the care of a loved one, or know of someone who has a caregiver, TELL THEM ABOUT THIS SIMPLE (and inexpensive!!) device and I promise you it will make caring for your loved one SO MUCH EASIER and safer!!

You are welcome to call us here at Avenue Home Care to place an order or if you have any questions (760) 978-6060, or you can find them at most medical supply stores and online.