Patients with dementia are being offered a novel way to relax at in hospital.
Twiddle muffs are knitted or crocheted tubes with accessories such as ribbons or buttons sewn into them and are given to patients with dementia.
For many people with dementia these muffs can be a source of comfort. They provide warmth and security, keep hands and minds occupied, and can help decrease agitation. They can also stimulate conversation and are a useful way to hide any tubes or wires which a patient may attempt to remove.
Local knitters have been busy knitting twiddle muffs but Southport and Ormskirk hospitals need a constant supply as each muff can only be used by a single patient who is encouraged to take it home.
Barbara Weldrake was one of the first twiddle muff knitters. “I saw an article in a knitting magazine about twiddle muffs being used elsewhere in the country and approached an occupational therapist at the hospital. They thought it was a great idea so I started to make them. I took them along to my knitting group and some of the other ladies started doing them too!”
Ann Burket also makes twiddle muffs and started making them after completing treatment for cancer.
Ann said: “Knitting the twiddle muffs provides a distraction to my pain and is helping my recovery by giving me a focus and improving my concentration. Also it brings great satisfaction to know I am helping and providing comfort to the dementia patients. They are easy and fun to make and I would recommend anyone to have a go.”
Anyone wishing to get involved making a twiddle muff should contact Michelle Kitson, Matron for Patient Experience on 01704 704094 and firstname.lastname@example.org, or Occupational Therapist Sally Nichol on 01704 704889 or email@example.com.
A twiddle muff pattern is available on the Trust website with this story. Picture shows Barbara Weldrake.