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Knitting ‘Twiddle Pockets’ to help dementia patients

Posted on: May 17th, 2015 by admin

St Annes Library Knit Together members Marjorie,  Nolene, Dorothy,  Anne,  Meg and Rhondda.


If you don’t know what a “twiddle pocket” is just take a trip to St Anne’s Library. The St Anne’s Library Knit Together group have set up a display of their Charity Projects, which includes twiddle pockets for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Following the example of other hospitals around the UK the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is asking knitters in the community to “cast on‟ and make twiddle-pockets that will help people suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer‟s. A twiddle pocket is a pocket or glove that has attachments added to it, inside and out, that patients can twiddle and fiddle with. They are used to calm patients with dementia or Alzheimer‟s by giving them something to do with their hands.

Paul Jebb, Assistant Director for Nursing (Patient Experience), said: “Twiddle-pockets have become very popular in the caring environment thanks to their simplicity. Patients respond really well to them as it gives them something to occupy their minds. People suffering from Dementia often think they should be working or keeping themselves occupied which is why they often become irritated or anxious. These knitted twiddle-pockets have been shown to fulfil that need.”

The Trust is asking community-minded, caring knitters to turn their needles to knit a supply of twiddle-pockets to donate to the trust so they can be given to patients. Paul adds: “We estimate around 70% of patients to the Trust are over 65 years of age and of those 25% will suffer from dementia or some kind of delirium. Dementia is a growing concern and caring for people with dementia is one of our priorities. The Trust is doing some great work already around dementia; particularly with its work on the dementia corridor and memory pods. Twiddle-pockets are just a simple way to add to that work and the community can also get involved.”

Making a twiddle-pocket is simple. They can be basic “sleeves” of wool or can be more extravagant. Some versions include details that make them look like animals that some patients will actually treat like a pet.

The St Annes Library Knit Together group meets the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month, 10.00 am to 12.00 pm. both novice and experienced knitters are welcome.