1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Weds 28 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 28 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. crybaby

    crybaby Registered User

    Jan 8, 2017
    42
    My husband is bed bound, and just recently started trying to tear the sheet in half.

    I suspect he is bored and won't do anything that is suggested, probably because he has PAC, and is losing his sight, and someone in my carers support group suggested that I make him a twiddle muff, which is a sort of knitted tube, with lots of bits and pieces attached, inside and out, so that the patient can slip his hands inside to keep them warm, and also find lots of bits attached to fiddle with.

    They are supposed to work well, even though I heard that one man took one look at it and threw it across the room! I can see my husband doing that too, but we'll give it a go, and anyway I'm enjoying the mindless knitting!
    But this is my question:
    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I might attach to the twiddle muff? I already have planned to attach buttons and also a ring with beads threaded on to it. I'm going to add some thick plaits to twiddle, and that's where my ideas finish

    Thanks for even thinking about it

    Love and hugs

    Crybaby
     
  2. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,409
    Female
    England
    Small zip, small bell, key ring, piece of fur material, a pocket, ribbon. Can’t think of anything else.
     
  3. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,829
    UK
    I did not have much success with a muff or even a blanket, everything that was on them just got ripped off and after months I am still finding buttons, Velcro and other assorted things around the floor, but the one thing that did stay on was a set of 10 keys on a ring, a mixture of plastic and small metal keys.
     
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,629
    Female
    London
    #4 Beate, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
    A friend of mine did a very personalised one for my OH. She sewed his Memory Walk medal in, a small car license plate with his name on it, an Opel Manta square fabric, plus she created a road out of a leather strip, added 3 coloured buttons for a traffic light and attached two dinky cars (he was a car nut). She also attached a small toy Alsatian, a fabric banana, a jeans pocket, a Happy St Patrick's Day badge (he used to work in Ireland) and some other stuff I can't remember now. It's big, bold and colourful, just like he was. :)

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  5. DeMartin

    DeMartin Registered User

    Jul 4, 2017
    711
    Kent
    Google twiddle muff, Leicester And Bristol hospitals have patterns, should also bring up a load of pictures. If eyesight is a problem bright colours and high contrast may help. I’ve made a couple, I included different textures of knitting, used some fun fur to smooth, bright bobbles to pull at. Velcro makes a nice ripping sound, bells. Check thread arty and crafty in tea room forum
     
  6. crybaby

    crybaby Registered User

    Jan 8, 2017
    42
    Thanks jaymor and tin - great suggestions.

    I laughed (not unkindly!) At the idea of things being ripped off and found all over the house - if my husband could do that, he would, but fortunately for me, he is always (literally) in bed, and in lucid moments he can see the benefits of not finding bits in his bedding!
    Hugsx
     
  7. crybaby

    crybaby Registered User

    Jan 8, 2017
    42
    I love all these suggestions, thank you so much everybody
     
  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,880
    Female
    South coast
  9. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    646
    Male
    Kent
    HI all

    One thing with fiddle muffs to be aware of is that the PWD could end up pulling the "bits and bobs" off. My wife's sister bought one for her, as she was always fiddling with something or other.

    It started off well but then I noticed that she was starting to pull the various buttons, curtain rings etc off. Then one day I could see she had something in her mouth which took an age to get her to spit it out. It was one of the large buttons from inside the muff and I was horrified that she could have swallowed it!:eek:

    So I have hidden it away - though she still has the tendency to put everything in her mouth! She came home from the dementia activity morning a few weeks ago and after a while, I again noticed her chewing on something. Out popped a huge marble - turns out it was from a mini-skittle game they had been playing with. "We wondered where that had gone", was the response from the centre staff when I returned it the following week.:rolleyes:

    Phil
     
  10. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,236
    Female
    Dundee
    Just agreeing with @Philbo My husband had 3 of these. All the bits were securely attached but he constantly tried to pull or bite them off. He was successful a couple of times. My husband died after a choking incident - not related to twiddlemuffs - so I suppose I’m hyper sensitive to this.
     
  11. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,829
    UK
    Putting things in the mouth. Mum started to do this a few months ago. I had to remove all her Domino pieces after I discovered a few of them had been chewed and edges missing. Think she thought they were biscuits. Since then I have noticed quite a few of her fiddling objects have been near her mouth so all small objects now gone. Only yesterday I found that she had removed the cheese from her sandwich and put it between two playing cards.
     
  12. crybaby

    crybaby Registered User

    Jan 8, 2017
    42
    Oh boy, the things you have to consider!

    My hubby had a domino in his mouth as soon as I went to make us a cup of tea - I think he thought it was a white chocolate.

    So these points about stuff that can be ripped off and chewed are all important. I realised then that it's like having a baby, in that you can't leave them with anything nearby which could go in their mouth!

    That's one of the things which make the decision about what to put on a twiddle muff so difficult

    I love everybody's thoughts on this, thank you so much
     
  13. DeMartin

    DeMartin Registered User

    Jul 4, 2017
    711
    Kent
    It may be worth searching for baby activity mats, to see what they have that are approved for toddlers.
     
  14. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,236
    Female
    Dundee
    It may not be suitable in this context but I thought I'd share it anyway. I got this for my husband - needless to say I had to remove all of the keys in case he swallowed them! He still enjoyed opening and closing the doors etc!

    http://www.activitiestoshare.co.uk/house-of-locks
     
  15. ITBookworm

    ITBookworm Registered User

    Oct 26, 2011
    451
    Glasgow
    Its not quite the same as a twiddle muff but I have seen suggested a wooden board with more diy style bits attached to it to fiddle with. So maybe a metal bolt mechanism screwed on that slides up and down, some keys on a sturdy metal chain, a door handle (doesn't need to open anything), a switch....- have a look at things that move or have different shapes in the diy isle.

    Izzy has had a similar idea while I typed :)
     
  16. lemonjuice

    lemonjuice Registered User

    Jun 15, 2016
    1,535
    England
    I think being a man you may do better with the suggestion of puzzle pieces, but if you do attach something perhaps something hobby related.
     
  17. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,829
    UK
    I did this for mum and it worked, got the idea from 'pinterest' it had a few things on it, but the door chain was the most popular. I did not use wood, but hard board and a very good glue.
     
  18. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,236
    Female
    Dundee
    Yes - the door chain was most popular with Bill as well! Mind you he still tried to bite it off!:rolleyes:
     
  19. Casbow

    Casbow Registered User

    Sep 3, 2013
    988
    Colchester
    I think the twiddle muffs are brilliant. But.! We had young grandchildren and my husband started playing with their toys. Most people with dementia go way back to childhood. The things that they understand and like and want to do, go back to when they were about 2. My husband used to spend hours in our conservatory playing with all sorts of bits and pieces. As time has gone by and he went into a nursing home, he now has a collection of things bought by family for birthday and Christmas presents. Picture snap cards. Stickle bricks. Small teddy. Childrens colourful story and picture books. Anything that isn't dangerous. Think toddler and you will know what is ok. My husband has a couple of smallish boxes of bits and pieces that kept him amused all the time he needed it. Now he doesn't take so much notice of his "toys". But today when i visited him he was looking at his snap cards. Very sad. But it keeps him happy. That is all that matters.xx
     
  20. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,829
    UK
    Same here Casbow. Every time we go in to a charity shop I always check out children's toys and activities., anything suitable. A few months ago I bought an abacus Pop up picture books amused her for a while until she started ripping the pages out
     

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