Residents at specialist care village, Belong Crewe, are benefiting from tailor-made ‘Twiddlemuffs’ that have been hand-made and donated by a local knitting group.
A Twiddlemuff is a knitted woollen muff with items, such as ribbons, buttons or fabric, attached that the individual can “twiddle” in their hands. They are designed to provide visual and tactile stimulation and therapeutic occupation for older people with dementia, who can commonly experience restlessness.
Sharon Bull, Experience Days Support Worker at Belong Crewe, said: “Twiddlemuffs have proven to be a great source of sensory stimulation for our customers. Personalised Twiddlemuffs, in particular have been wonderful, for one customer who responds well to stroking furry items, they made a muff with extra furry wool inside; for another lady, who used to be a nurse, they created a muff with a fob watch attached.
“Aside from the sensory element, the personalised Twiddlemuffs have been great for helping to encourage reminiscence, which can be very comforting for people living with dementia. We cannot thank the ladies enough for their help.’’
The ladies’ knitting group meets weekly in Crewe and has six members. The group originally made Twiddlemuffs for Leighton hospital, where one of the ladies’ daughter works and had heard about the idea. The sensory sleeve proved therapeutic for patients with Alzheimer’s, arthritis and dementia, encouraging the charitable group to contact their local Belong village to offer their help.
Since then, the group has produced personalised Twiddlemuffs for residents throughout Belong Crewe, incorporating items related to their personal interests or a past history.
Further items including ‘twiddle blankets’ and ‘twiddle bags’ following similar designs have also been created.
Belong has offered a donation of materials to the knitters, to thank them for their kind contribution to the village and Twiddlemuffs have also been taken to other Belong villages for residents to enjoy.