Samaritan group knit, crochet 35 'twiddle muffs' for dementia patients
Twiddle muffs help with anxiety, restless hands
What started as a simple share on Facebook exploded into a collective crocheting-knitting project for a Saskatoon Samaritan group.
Deb Schick is a nurse at the Sherbrooke Community Centre. A few months ago she came across an online page from the United Kingdom about twiddle muffs and their therapeutic application for dementia patients.
Schick shared the page with her mother Pam Smith and before she knew it, her mom came knocking on Sherbrooke's door with 35 twiddle muffs — even though her daughter only asked for two or three just for residents to try out — so they can do exactly that: twiddle.
"It's got lots of stuff on it they can twiddle with, there's buttons, puffy stuff and different textures in the yarn and some of them have buttons also things to twiddle with their hands," Smith said. "People with dementia, they have restless hands so this might help in calming them down a little bit."
The twiddle muffs can help reduce anxiety and as Schick explains, just being able to play with some of the buttons and finding new things actually helps people to experience something that may not happen for them every day.
The muffs came in all colours and many of them have buttons, string and other materials sewed on to keep patients' hands busy. Schick told CBC News she took a couple around to some of the Sherbrooke residents and the results were incredible.
"The ladies immediately picked the first one up and started touching it and telling me how pretty it was," Schick said. "Then they started reaching inside and feeling all the different things, and one of our housekeepers came to see what they were and it started a whole conversation about crocheting and they ended up reminiscing about crafts and things they used to make."
Depending on your level of expertise at a knitter, Smith said these muffs take anywhere between four and five hours to knit or crochet.
But for dementia patients it means hours of discovery, entertainment and fun.
With files from CBC Radio's The Afternoon Edition