I'm often asked by patients and families about using gait belts, which is the safest and if I have any insight on Sammons Preston gait belt.
Since I've personally used Sammons Preston gait belts with my patients on a regular basis, I decided to look into this question and see which type of gait belt would be best to recommend for home use.
Sammons Preston Gait Belt Review:
Price: Varies from $9 to $35 depending on the style. Check Amazon for Current Price.
Pros: Thick and stable. Excellent Support. Multiple handle options. Easy Buckle System.
Bottom Line: Great Gait Belt for elderly or people with mobility issues. The stitching on some of the straps could be stronger but overall a decent product. Recommended.
What is Sammons Preston?
Sammons Preston is a well established brand in the medical industry. The company has created over 500 products for a wide range of purposes, ranging from sponges to adaptive chairs and straps.
Overall, the company has a good reputation for creating high quality medical products. They have been in business for over 50 years and their the primary brand for home care and nursery products.
When you see the brand name before a product you can rest easy knowing the product will be of the highest quality possible.
What is a Gait Belt?
Gait Belts are simple belts designed for people who are struggling with mobility issues. These belts make it easier for nurses or caretakers to transfer patients more safely. The belt wraps around the patient's lumbar spine (lower back) and provides enough support to move the patient without risking injuries.
Common uses for gait belts include moving someone from a wheelchair to a bed or from a chair to a standing position.
You'll find gait belts exceptionally useful for the elderly who struggle to stand on their own. They're also useful to support people who have foot or leg injuries.
Speaking of the elderly, read our list of favorite lift chairs for the elderly here.
These products are lifesavers in many cases as they prevent falling and make it easier for people to make progress with physical therapy.
How to Use a Gait Belt:
If a medical professional is not available, you may have to learn how to use it on your own. But no worries, using a Gait Belt is quite simple.
Wrap the belt around the patient's waist, buckle it, and gently use it to assist the patient's natural body movement. You can also hold on to the belt from the sides or rear for more stability.
Keep in mind, the belt is for assisting people with mobility issues. You need to work together with the patient to lift them. The belt only provides an additional support. The goal is to get the patient to do the work and you support them as needed.
Check out this Awesome video to see how to use a Gait Belt:
Getting back on topic, Sammons Preston Gait Belts are one of the best in the medical industry. The particular model I will be reviewing is a Sammons Preston padded Gait Belt with safety handles.
Right off the bat, there are a few features about this product that stood out to me and I'll talk about in this review.
Sammons Preston Gait Belt Pros:
This is what I liked:
1. Quick Release Buckle:
The belt has one large buckle in the center that is easy to secure and release when needed. Very easy to for caretakers to use.
2. Four Safety Straps:
Four safety straps surround the belt. These straps make it easy for nurses to direct the movement of a patient without too much contact.
3. Comes in 3 Sizes:
This model can be purchased in three waist sizes:
- Small - 24" - 30" Waist Size
- Medium - 28" - 48"
- Large - 40" - 64"
It's also important to keep in mind the size isn't exact, there is room to adjust the belt according to the patient's waist size. The belt can be adjusted with hook and loop system similar to the ones found on backpacks and other types of luggage. Very convenient.
4. Designed from Breathable Fabric:
The belt is very light and made from breathable cool fabric, so long term use is comfortable. Most of the people who have tried this belt say it's very comfortable to use and provides plenty of support.
5. Wide and Thick:
Most Gait Belts are very skinny and resemble a regular belt, but this product is very thick and wide which provides plenty of support for the lower back region.
In fact, it covers the entire lower back. Great for people who lack strength in their lower back.
Sammons Preston Gait Belt Cons:
Here's what I think could be improved:
1. Poor Stitching Quality on Handles:
I noticed the support handles are stitched in two places, bottom and top, and the top seems the be quite weak. After reading some reviews, my suspicions were confirmed when someone mentioned the top stitches were the first to break.
To avoid any accidents, it's best to avoid placing too much strain on any single strap, instead use two or more at a time to evenly distribute the force. Otherwise, the stitching might break. It might even be worth adding another layer of stitching on your own.
2. Short Adjustment Range:
The adjustment range on these belts is quite short, so it's important to make sure you buy the right weight size. There is an adjustment range, but it's only 6 or so inches. Customers have complained about the weight size on several occasions.
Other people have mentioned the belt sometimes slips out of place, a problem that is unfortunately difficult to solve.
Sammons Preston Gait Belt Options:
If you're worried about the smaller straps and want something bigger to grip. I recommend the Sammons Preston Gait Belt with the Metal Buckles.
This is what I use with the majority of my patients. The reason being, safety and simplicity. I like to grip the entire belt with one hand as I'm walking with patients within their rooms or home environment.
If I'm doing sit to stand transfers, I use two hands and again I can grip the entire belt to have more control as I'm guiding the patient through the transfer.
Below is the alternative Sammons Preston Gait Belt with the Metal Buckles.
So what do I think of this Sammons Preston Gait Belt? Overall, I think the product is great for the price.
It's very sturdy and offers plenty of support for patients, and it's made from high quality materials.
If you are the primary caretaker of someone with mobility issues, I would recommend trying out one of the Sammons Preston Gait Belts. They're much safer than thin elastic belts, and the straps make it much easier for you to assist your patient.
In short, I recommend the Sammons Preston Gait Belts. Thanks for taking the time to read this review. If you have any questions leave them below and I'll do my best to answer then.