A NEW craze is sweeping Rotherham — Twiddlemuff Mania.
The little knitted handmuffs are said to be a godsend when it comes to helping dementia patients, and campaigners are appealing to great knits to set their needles clicking to produce them.
Beth Goss, lead nurse for dementia care at Rotherham Hospital, who is leading the Twiddlemuff Mania campaign, said: “Twiddlemuffs are a knitted hand muff with interesting bits and bobs attached inside and out.
“They have been designed and developed to provide simple stimulation for active hands, whilst promoting increased flexibility and brain stimulation.
“Many people with dementia find Twiddlemuffs reassuring and comforting. A Twiddlemuff can soothe restless hands and minimise agitation.”
David Coldrick, chairman of the Dementia Alliance and Owner of Home Instead Senior Care Rotherham, said: “We want our member organisations and the general public to get knitting.
“We would be delighted if any willing knitters could help create Twiddlemuffs as part of the dementia awareness work being carried out by the hospital and elsewhere in the borough.
“Don’t worry if you are not an expert the pattern is very simple.
“And if you are not a knitter, like me, then you can still support the cause because the hospital is accepting donations of new wool, buttons, beads, ribbons, zips and anything that could safely be used to enhance the muffs.”
Twiddlemuff style expert Beth added: “When choosing colours, please bear in mind that females tend to prefer pastel colours and shades whilst males tend to like stronger contrasting colours.
“Twiddlemuffs might contain such as pockets for old photos but we obviously advise against sewing on any small items which could be a choking hazard and everything added must be sewn on tight.
“This is all covered in the pattern advice provided by the hospital.”
David added: “The Rotherham Dementia Action Alliance would like to add that we are really pleased that Rotherham Hospital is being so tremendously supportive to Twiddlemuff Mania as are other key local organisations such as Rotherham RVS and many individuals from the Memory Cafes and elsewhere.
“If you have relatives with dementia you will know how important it can be to have a practical way of helping reduce agitation and restlessness in a manner which is so beneficial.”
To get involved in Twiddlemuff Mania, call Beth Goss on 01709 428372 or email her at Beth.Goss@rothgen.nhs.uk.