Handling belt???: I wonder if anyone has... - PSP Association

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Handling belt???


I wonder if anyone has experience of using a handling or gate belt?? My husband can managed to lurch between grab rails around the house and I increasingly need to hold him from behind. I have tried using his walker/ rollator in the house but with his impulsivity he is out of the chair before it is in place!!

I just know someone will have cracked this challenge so would love to hear any ideas or suggestions .

Love Tippy

33 Replies

Hi, we got one for my mum, we don't use it much because she is basically wheelchair bound, but I felt much more secure assisting her with one though. Much safer than just grabbing clothes or arms, I really like them. Julie

Hi Tippy;

We found it useful for helping hubby to get up from a fall. I would place a short wide-leg step ladder and a yoga mat near him (we have hardwood floors - no rugs). He had enough strength to get up but "didn't know how" - his control over movement was compromised. So the belt allowed me to direct his movement rarher than just pushing him to the side, say, if I was trying to get him to move weight off one of his legs.(you have to be there, right?;-)

Of course sometimes we just had to rely on our wonderful local fire fighters!

Anne G.

Hi Anne

I know exactly what you mean!!Getting up from a fall is like a military operation with me giving precise instructions and tapping the limb which needs to move 😮

Thanks for the feedback

Love Tippy

Hi AnneG

We've had to call on friends and neighbours to help with lifts after falls, unless there's blood involved when we've called out the paramedics. Our Physio/OT have supplied us with a Manger ELK, emergency lifting cushion, which goes under Chris, assuming he is somewhere it can be deployed. This is then inflated to above dining chair height and then it is easy for him to stand up. This has been invaluable as it has meant that I have been able to manage the majority of his falls.

Hope this infor helps, keep on keeping on



Thanks Anne we are certainly heading in that direction so a good recommendation

Love Tippy

Saw a YouTube video on the Elk: they look awesome!

NannaB in reply to AnneandChris

We had an Elk as well, which saved countless visits from paramedics when he fell. It did get to a stage though when I couldn’t get it under C. My grandchildren loved it, being lifted high. In fact they loved coming here for rides up and down the stairs on the chair lift, the Elk, the rise recliner chair and best of all being “squished” in the hospital bed.

I don’t miss PSP but I do miss the laughs and giggles from them and Colin’s funny humming laugh as he watched them.


Tippyleaf in reply to NannaB

Thanks Bev

I have just googled the Elk looks like a really useful piece of kit!

Our grandchildren love sitting on their grandpa’s knee in the wheelchair, his prism glasses and the chairlift - the youngest at 2 yrs calls it the rocket 🚀 haha a very very slow rocket!!

When we get to see an OT I can ask about the Elk for those difficult days when getting up a huge challenge. Haven’t yet needed to call paramedics but a few times came very close.

Love Tippy

Hi Tippy

We did try that with dad when he was still mobile, personally couldn’t get on it, sorry that’s not helpful 😡 x

My husband would not be without it on when he is up. If we are walking together, he will put his arm around my waist or shoulder and I his, while I am holding onto the belt. We match steps like the military, but it helps the balance. If he is using a walker, I just hold it from behind as you do. It also helps me anytime I need to stabilize or assist him --- getting on or off the commode, out of the wheelchair and onto bed, out of the car. And, yes, getting him off the floor. I get him onto all fours, have a place where he can get hand holds. I can pull and balance him so he can get up. It has been really great and just gives me something to hold onto and to practice Newton's Third Law. Hope this helps.


Many thanks Christine I shall be ordering one - anything which helps😊

Love Tippy

NannaB in reply to Tippyleaf

Hi Tippyleaf, if you in the U.K. the occupational therapist can get you one. We had one and found it successful.


Tippyleaf in reply to NannaB

When my husband was attending the Hospice we had a great OT but since they discharged him 😘 it has been a nightmare. I asked for OT referral 6 weeks ago and still waiting despite several phone calls. We are lost without hospice support but their new policy is no long term support you get 12 weeks and if significant changes you may be lucky enough to get s further 12 weeks arrggghhh

Gosh that was a rant out of nowhere!!!!!!

Love Tippy xxx

NannaB in reply to Tippyleaf

I’d rant if I was treated like that as well. I’d ask your GP if they could speed things up, failing that, the district nurse. Tell them you urgently need a handling belt for yours and your husband’s safety. I found it much easier on my back as there was something substantial to grab hold of when giving C support. I got lots of equipment via the OT but rarely saw her. Most was through requesting stuff from the GP who passed the message on.

Good luck.


Heady in reply to Tippyleaf

Hi Tippy, this is appalling! I know you have enough battles, but not having access to your OT, is NOT acceptable. Sorry my love, but the boxing gloves are going to have to come out and it's time to throw all your toys out of the Pram! Phone your GP immediately and demand help. I found the odd tear(!!!) certainly helped at this sort of time. I doubt you will need to fake it, but it does help if you can, as you can stay in control that way!

With you all the way.

Sending big hugs and much love

Lots of love


aliciamq in reply to NannaB

Ebay has them for around $15. We use the gait belt for going out and strips of sheets for in the house. The only time I don't walk with Jack is the first morning move. The rest of the day and especially in the evening, I assist. It keeps us out of the Emergency Room.

Ian has to use a walker, even in the house now. And we have a riser chair which is invaluable. At the moment, when needed, I grab his trouser belt when he needs an extra lift!

3 years ago, when he was recovering from paralysis (Not PSP), I used one, especially for getting in and out of cars. It was quite cumbersome and bright red, so he wasn't keen on it! I remember it used to slip a bit.

We are now fast approaching the time when it could be useful again. I must hunt it out, I suppose.

I hope it will be of some use. It certainly made me feel better about grabbing him securely.

Much love

Juliet x

Morning Tippy,

We have a handling belt but I found John was so unsteady that I could not support him when he went towards one side. It is worth a try though and may be a help when he falls. Xx

Dear Tippy

Chris fortunately now only moves with his wheeled walker with me walking backwards steering him. He always wears a heavy leather belt which I can grab if needed. When the carers are here, they walk behind him, with me in front. It's a nightmare, isn't it? We have a wheelchair assessment shortly so that should be interesting, but I'm trying to keep him mobile for as long as possible. He had another fall off his walker into the fridge door on Saturday evening, but No1 Grandson was here and picked him up. Life is so unpredictable.

So, keep on keeping on



Hi Tippy,

We got one for mum along with a small round rotating ‘plate’ that went on the floor as she couldn’t take any steps. This enabled us to transfer mum from wheelchair to toilet when we were out. The handling belt needs to be a snug fit so it doesn’t ride up. It does work well, enabling two of us to hold the handles and manoeuvre rather than grabbing at the patient.

I ordered both from the net.

Hope you’re well.

Much love Michele xxx

Babowen898 in reply to Robmatlol

Michele, could you explain more about the rotating plate you spoke of, and maybe post a pic? Thanks! Ann

Robmatlol in reply to Babowen898

So sorry for late reply Ann. I have taken a pic of the rotator plate. Just figuring out how to upload it 😏

Hi Tippy, We have just got one from our OT and so far have only used it to help W up from a fall. OT also advised us to wear it when W is having a very unsteady day or difficulty getting up from chair or bed. Good luck, Nanny857 xx

I used one a lot when dad was still walking, even when he started using a walker. The belt is so much safer to grab in case a fall started to help ease down to the floor. Also when just unsteady it gave him a better feeling knowing I was holding on. If he didn't complain I'd leave it on all day instead of trying to get it on every time he decided to move.


Hi Tippy, I agree with Anne, just not acceptable and I think you will have to stamp your feet and create a bit of a scene if you don't get the help and equipment you need. I never had problem getting an OT, either through the local authority or the Hospice and equipment generally arrived pretty quickly. I didn't use a handling belt as such but always strapped the belt tightly around Ben to secure him when he was using the rota stand and that made it safe to move him around without danger of falling, I also used it to help pull him up out of his chair or the bed onto the rota stand. He was just about able to support himself on the rota stand until the last few weeks and then had to use the hoist to move him.

Best of luck

Love Kate xxx

Thank you all so much. I hadn’t realised quite how frustrated I was until that little rant and you are right it isn’t good enough I need to plant my feet and shout louder

Love Tippy

Interesting about the belt. Although my husband has one he often takes it off. When he falls I leave him down until I can get it back on him. My back is already a mess and neither of us need it getting worse.

Today I had a meeting with some of his caregivers at his Adult Day Care Center that he attends twice a week. He’s had some near falls when he thought he could get himself up from his chair himself. They are thinking they may have to belt him down to the chair so he will have to wait for assistance. Kind of extreme but we may give it a try. I’m betting he flips out.

When my dad was still mobile he always wore a regular belt in his pants. I couldn’t begin to count the number of saves from being able to hold onto the belt and steady him. Therapist encouraged gait belt instead of regular belt but I never did end up getting one before he became wheelchair bound.

Mum uses one with dad and she gets on well with it. I used it yesterday for the first time, it's a bit strange to use as you are pretty much draging the person up but it works.

Tippyleaf in reply to Pjgil

Thank you for the feedback waiting for ours to be delivered

Love Tippy xx

As a nurse, I have used a “gait belt” for decades with unsteady patients. It has saved many potential falls and stumbles, a great help in transferring people from bed to chair etc, assisted in helping up those who have fallen and saved my back more times than I can ever count (remember to lift using your legs, NOT your back). I pulled mine out of my work bag after I was diagnosed with PSP and realized what was to come. My husband has it stored away for when it’s needed. Make sure the belt is tight around your person, enough so you can just get your fingers under it for a good grip. This is one piece of equipment required in every place I ever worked in.

Tippyleaf in reply to GmaDeb

Dear Deborah

Thank you so much for your reply. Really good to hear the voice of experience. I have ordered a belt just waiting for delivery.😊

How are you doing?

Sending lots of love and a big hug


Hi Tippy. Thank you for asking. I’m still not too terribly forgetful (my hubby would disagree, I know- lol), can speak well enough most days and using the wheelchair more than I’d like. I would say I’m doing great as long as I get my sweets. They help me from dropping too much weight. That’s the excuse I use at any rate! 😉

I hope you and your husband find the gait belt helpful to keep him walking for as long as possible. Wheelchairs have their use but are darn cumbersome things. Should make Christmas shopping easier this year though. Well, for me anyway.

Sending prayers for uneventful days and peaceful nights. (I know, but I just keep praying for them anyway)🙏🙏🙏

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