What is the best way to assist an elder who needs help walking?

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There are many variables with this depending on the person's weaknesses. I'd suggest you call the physical therapy section of a local clinic or hospital for some help. Most nursing homes use "gait belts" that are wide, strong belts that go around the person they are helping, so that the aide can keep a good hold on the person. Again, there may be issues with this particular person as to whether or not you use a gait belt. Please check with the doctor or clinic and tell them about any heath issues this person may have. They can give you advice tailored to the person's needs.
Carol
I agree, USE A GAIT BELT Ask a PT or DOCTOR for instructions on the correct use-very easy to use and they are a life saver because if the person starts to go down you can either STOP IT or LOWER them to the ground.

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