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Tuesday 27 July 2021
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Marjorie Roper and Janice McGrory
Marjorie Roper and Janice McGrory

Knitted dolls helping to comfort dementia patients

Knitted dolls and novelty woollen muffs are helping to comfort dementia patients at Salford Royal.


Twiddle Muffs are used to provide simple stimulation for hands and have proven useful for patients living with dementia, who are often restless and need reassurance.


For the past 12 months Marjorie Roper - mother of Salford Royal’s Lead Dementia Nurse Janice McGrory - has knitted dozens of Twiddle Muffs and dolls which are given to patients free of charge.


Marjorie is now in need of more wool so she can create them for even more patients.


Janice said: “When someone with dementia gets agitated we see them fiddling and picking at things, it’s a comfort to them but it can sometimes be down to frustration or boredom.


“In hospital, if someone has a wound dressing or is on a drip, they can sometimes pick at them or pull them out but Twiddle Muffs keep their hands occupied and focuses their concentration.


“We once had a very agitated patient on a ward who immediately calmed down when she had a knitted doll to cuddle and hold.”


Knitted doll for dementia patients
The dolls have knitted outfits, hair and shoes

Marjorie can make three dolls in a couple of days – complete with knitted outfits, hair and shoes.

The muffs are made with knitted bobbles and soft chunky wool.


Marjorie, 74, added: “My grandmother taught me to knit when I was four years old and I have always knitted various things for raffles at the hospital. I hadn’t heard of Twiddle Muffs until Janice mentioned it so I made one and I just got into it.


“I enjoy making them and it is nice to know that it is helping patients.”


Marjorie is appealing for more double knit or chunky knit wool, in any colour, to continue making the Twiddle Muffs.


Donated wool can be dropped off at the reception desk inside the main entrance of Hope Building at Salford Royal, from 9am-5pm Monday – Sunday.