SALISBURY, MD – March 9, 2018 – Coastal Hospice is asking the community to pitch in and make “twiddle muffs” to comfort hospice patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
A twiddle muff is a knitted, crocheted, or fabric tube decorated with accessories such as ribbons and buttons. Many people with dementia experience changes to their personalities, one of which is to become increasingly agitated. By keeping patients’ hands and minds busy, the muffs have a positive, calming effect and also encourage movement and brain stimulation.
A woman whose grandmother was becoming increasingly frustrated when she could no longer work with her hands initially developed twiddle muffs more than 20 years ago. Today, twiddle muffs are being used effectively in nursing homes, hospices, and hospitals to soothe agitation and keep dementia patients entertained.
“Not only are twiddle muffs good for patients with dementia, they are also fun to make,” Sally Rankin, Manager of Volunteer Services for Coastal Hospice, said. “As a crafter myself, I always have bits of leftover yarn around, and making a muff is a great way to use up those bits and pieces. And you can get so creative decorating them with buttons, bows, strings, small bells, and other objects that can be twiddled.”
Patterns for twiddle muffs are available online at several sites including www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/twiddle-muff or www.theyarnloop.com/article/knit-for-dementia-patients-free-twiddlemuff-pattern.
Rankin points out the there are specific ways that twiddle muffs should be made so they are useable for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.
“If anyone has any questions about how to properly make twiddle muffs, we encourage them to talk to us before they start the project,” Rankin said. “We will be happy to help or even meet to show examples of what we need and what works best for our patients. We also have a Berlin crafters group that is experienced in making twiddle muffs, and anyone who is interested is welcome to attend.”
Coastal Hospice’s knitting and crochet group meets every other Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the upstairs room at A Little Bit Sheepish, 2 S. Main St. in Berlin. The next meetings are March 21 and April 4.
Information is also available by phone from Coastal Hospice Volunteer Services at 410-742-8732.
Twiddle muffs may be dropped off during regular business hours at the Coastal Hospice main office at 2604 Old Ocean City Road in Salisbury or at Coastal Hospice at the Ocean at 10441 Racetrack Road, Taylorville Center, in Berlin.
Founded in 1980, Coastal Hospice is a nonprofit health care organization that cares for individuals facing life-limiting conditions but who want to remain as active and engaged as possible. Coastal Hospice cares for patients in their home, nursing home, assisted living facility or at Coastal Hospice at the Lake. The organization serves Wicomico, Worcester, Dorchester and Somerset counties.