Dementia patients benefit from “twiddlemuff” craze

By Michael Upton | 08/06/2017

Dementia patients benefit from “twiddlemuff” craze
Lyn Clarke and Helen Green with the twiddlemuffs

STAFF and volunteers at a hospital trust put their knitting needles to good use by creating “twiddlemuffs”for patients with dementia.

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals Trust has joined the growing craze for producing knitted woollen items worn on the hands covered with adornments such as ribbons, large buttons and textured fabrics.

Patients with dementia can “twiddle” in their hands while visiting and staying in hospital — a big help for those who have restless hands and enjoy having something to keep them occupied. 

Avid knitter Lyn Clarke, who works for the trust, has been busy creating a range of colourful twiddlemuffs for patients on the Mallard Ward at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and is keen to get other knitters on board.

“I discovered them on Facebook and knitted one for a friend’s relative who has dementia and who was constantly twiddling with the buttons on their clothes,” she said.

“It helped enormously and now I knit for the patients on the Mallard Ward. It is a very rewarding experience.”

Helen Green, person-centred care practitioner, said: “We are hoping that volunteers, including staff, patients and visitors, will come forward to put their knitting skills to good use and make more twiddlemuffs. 

“They are an excellent way of helping to combat the restlessness that some patients living with dementia may experience. 

“This project is part of the work we are doing to enhance the care for our patients and we would love to have your help.”

The trust is asking anyone who would like to put their knitting skills into action and donate the twiddlemuffs to send them — and any spare wool or materials — to the Enhanced Care Team, c/o Twiddlemuffs, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Armthorpe Road, Doncaster, DN2 5LT. 

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