Emergency department calls for volunteers to knit ‘Twiddlemuffs’

Hospitals appeals for volunteers to knit woollen muffs for dementia patients because it can provide sensory stimulation.

An appeal for knitters has been launched to help dementia patients.


Twiddlemuff people
From left to right: Leicester Royal Infirmary ward sister Esther Hyde with Geraldine Vincent and Kirstie Hill and their Twiddlemuffs. Picture: Medical Illustration, Leicester's Hospitals

Leicester Royal Infirmary's emergency department is the latest emergency service to call on volunteers to knit multi-coloured woollen muffs, named Twiddlemuffs.

Nurses claim that Twiddlemuffs can provide sensory stimulation for restless hands for patients.

Comfort and relaxation aid

Leicester Royal Infirmary ward sister Esther Hyde said: ‘The Twiddlemuffs aid comfort and relaxation. Just from observing the patients, they appear to be calmer using them.’

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust general manager of the emergency department Rachel Williams said: 'Twiddlemuffs will be given out to our inpatients with dementia who will be able to take them home with them. We know that there are lots of keen knitters, so we are appealing to the public to put your skills to good use and print off our easy pattern and get knitting.'

The idea came from Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is used in Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. Royal Devon and Exeter consultant nurse for older people Debbie Cheeseman said: 'Twiddlemuffs are an excellent way of helping to combat the restlessness and agitation that may be experienced by patients with dementia.'

Further information:

Twiddlemuff knitting pattern

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