Knitted ‘Twiddle Muffs’ helping patients with dementia at Harrogate District Hospital

Staff and relatives and friends of patients on Farndale Ward at Harrogate District Hospital have been busy knitting more than 100 ‘Twiddle Muffs’ to help those people with dementia keep their hands busy.

Twiddle Muffs are multi-coloured knitted sleeves with buttons, bobbles, ribbons and other materials on, and the idea is that patients put their hands inside and ‘twiddle’ with the materials.



People with dementia often have restless hands and would like something to keep them occupied. The Twiddle Muffs provide a source of visual and sensory stimulation, as well as keeping hands warm and cosy.

All patients with dementia or delirium/confusion are offered one to use on the ward, and are able to take them home with them too.

Staff first started knitting them and they have proved so popular relatives and friends of patients have joined in too. The ward provides very simple knitting patterns for people to follow.

They are proving so popular staff are asking for donations of wool and buttons, which can be dropped off at the ward.

Rachel Hullah is a Care Support Worker on Farndale Ward, and has been instrumental in getting the project off the ground.

Rachel said:

We have been so pleased with the response from patients and relatives. It’s clear that patients enjoy having something to do with their hands and looking at them too.

More than 100 have now been knitted over the past month or two, which is phenomenal.

I’ve recently undertaken a dementia training course so understand more about the benefits to patients’ overall wellbeing that keeping active can make.

The fact that colleagues and patients’ relatives have been so enthusiastic with knitting shows how much we believe the muffs are making a difference.



Donations of Twiddle Muffs are gratefully received from members of the public.

The knitting pattern can be downloaded here


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