Sunday, February 5, 2023

People living with dementia are being supported with a knitted aid

People living with dementia are being supported with a knitted aid

EAST of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust is working with volunteers to produce the Twiddlemuff.

The knitted handmuff is decorated with buttons and ribbons internally and externally, which allows patients living with dementia to have visual and sensory stimulation when going to hospital.

Amb Knit

People living with dementia often get restless hands and the comfort of having something to twiddle in emergency ambulances and across Patient Transport Services can help relieve this.

Education and Training Officer, Heidi Clements, said: “The idea was presented to me by a colleague who advised that Suffolk had trialled the TwiddleMuff, with success.

“I gave the pattern to my Nan, a seasoned knitter, and asked her to produce some samples for delivery of our Dementia Care training sessions. These sessions are being delivered to all staff in EEAST to improve understanding of the condition, and to ensure our staff can offer the most appropriate care.

“We want to provide a more comfortable experience for patients living with dementia, as this can be a potentially confusing and scary time whilst being transported to hospital in an ambulance.

“My Nan, Betty, helped me bring this idea to life by kindly providing the wool and her time to make us some starting stock, as well as my Aunty Eileen who posted her contributions down from Scotland.”

We are searching for volunteers with any level of knitting ability to help us build a basic stock of TwiddleMuffs so every ambulance can have one as and when they are needed.

Every Twiddlemuff is single-use and would return home with the patient for them to keep.

If you like to knit, or know someone who does, please download the pattern here.

Once you’ve made your TwiddleMuff(s), send them to:

EEAST TwiddleMuffs,
Alex Moorehouse Way,

If you have any TwiddleMuff questions, please email or the Trust’s Dementia Lead,


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