Somerset WI donate knitted bands designed to help combat restlessness and agitation in dementia

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Left to Right_Deputy Manager Camelot House Bonnie Frear, resident Elizabeth Thornton and Audrey Cooksley for Somerset WI
Left to Right_Deputy Manager Camelot House Bonnie Frear, resident Elizabeth Thornton and Audrey Cooksley for Somerset WI

A knitted band designed to help combat restlessness and agitation in dementia is proving a hit with residents at Camelot House nursing home in Chelston near Wellington.

Forty-five woollen Twiddle Muffs have been donated as individual gifts for each person at the home knitted by kind-hearted women from the Women’s Institute of Somerset.

The muffs were presented to Camelot House residents by the WI’s Audrey Cooksley and will also be donated to residents at Camelot’s sister services Acacia near Yeovil and Avalon in Bridgwater.

The creations have attachments on both the outside and inside with embellishments such as ribbons, beads, jewels, cellophane, lace and zips so people with dementia can twiddle in their hands.

“Many patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia find them comforting and therapeutic as they help encourage movement and brain stimulation,” said Bonnie Frear, Camelot’s deputy manager.

“Anxiety can be part of their dementia causing periods of distress and agitation. The Twiddle Muffs can really help them focus on things.

“They are also a really good topic of conversation, something different to talk about. They are going to be a really good asset for us and our Activities Team.”

The original muff was developed by Margaret Light for her elderly grandmother, Lily, who had become visually impaired to help satisfy her need to keep her hands warm and busy.

Camelot House run by Camelot Care group is set over two floors with a dementia-friendly layout providing a safe environment for residents.

The service has a small allotment where residents can grow flowers and vegetables and is home to chickens Essie and Rosaline, guinea pigs Brandy and Sherry, and Pudding the rabbit.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025.

Camelot Care has recently been awarded its second Quality Hallmark Award by the National Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Centre, the UK’s largest provider of training in end-of-life care, both times with ‘Beacon’ status, the highest accolade possible.

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