The power of volunteers is seen in many ways.
Earlier this year the Greater WI Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association published a request in the Wausau Daily Herald looking for community participation in knitting/crocheting or sewing “sensor mitts” for their clients.
I’m proud to say that individuals from the “knitting/crocheting” group that gathers at The Neighbors’ Place responded. Within a month, 20 twiddlemuffs were handcrafted and provided for Alzheimer’s clients.
Ten volunteers contributed to this success. One in particular, Kathi, responded like a duck to water. Over 5 months she knit 35 muffs.
What is a sensor mitt or twiddlemuff?
It is a muff with items attached so that an individual with dementia can twiddle or fidget with the items in their hands. People with dementia often have restless hands and like to have something to keep their hands occupied. It provides a wonderful source of visual, tactile and sensory stimulation, at the same time keeping hands snug and warm. (Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust)
As happens at many of the gatherings, we started discussing twiddlemuffs and asking questions. Who else might benefit from these?
Pine Crest Nursing Home – Merrill
Colonial Manor – Wausau
Hospice Care – Wausau
Bell Tower Assisted Living – Merrill
Azura Memory Care – Rib Mountain
Elementary Schools – Especially Students with ADD-HD
Where does the yarn come from?
If you know a crafter of any sort, you know they have a “stash” of unused material from previous projects. Also, The Neighbors’ Place accepts and receives donations of new or gently used yarn. It is a great way to use up leftovers, or recycle and re-purpose others unwanted yarn.
How did we spread the enthusiasm for them?
We began knitting in public; on the bus, at meetings, in the library, just about anywhere you can take a small project.
In the end we found it provided a great way for a “Neighbor to help a Neighbor”.
For more information on twiddlemuffs, go to http://www.yours.co.uk/2015/08/make-a-twiddlemuff-for-dementia-patients or search the internet with the term sensor mitt or twiddlemuff.
(Contributed by Community Learning Center volunteer, Eileen Guthrie.)