Staff and volunteers at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital are putting their knitting needles to good use knitting Twiddlemuffs for patients with dementia. And they are looking for more knitters to join them.
Twiddlemuffs are knitted woollen muffs with items such as ribbons, large buttons or textured fabrics attached that patients with dementia can twiddle in their hands whilst on the wards at the RD&E.
People with dementia often have restless hands and like something to keep them occupied. The Twiddlemuffs provide a source of visual, tactile and sensory stimulation at the same time as keeping hands snug and warm.
The idea for the project was “pinched with pride” from another hospital – Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – and has been taken up by one of our staff member’s 90 year old mother, Beulah Hitchcock, an avid knitter who has been busy creating a range of Twiddlemuffs for patients.
Now RD&E Consultant Nurse for Older People Debbie Cheeseman is keen to get other knitters on board to help create more Twiddlemuffs to be used across the hospital.
Debbie 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 and agitation that may be experienced by patients with dementia. This project is part of a wide range of work we are doing to support our patients and we would love to have your help.”
To start knitting a Twiddlemuff, click here to download the knitting pattern.
Please send your completed Twiddlemuffs to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service office: Twiddlemuffs c/o Patient Advice and Liaison Service, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Barrack Road, Exeter, EX25DW