The original Twiddle Muff was developed by Margaret Light for her grandmother, Lily. As she grew older, and her eyesight began to decline, Lilly couldn’t be as creative and productive with her hands as she had been all her life. “The Twiddle Muff satisfied her need to keep her hands warm and busy,” Margaret says. “She enjoyed it so much that it was on her lap constantly.”
The success of the original Twiddle Muff spawned the creation of three more designs; the Pup and the Cat, both with adorable pet-faces and tails, and the Sport in a pretty plaid. The cat comes in two colors, cream and chocolate brown.
Each Twiddle®has three attachments on the outside, and a squeezable ball on the inside. The attachments include a sealed satin bag containing movable marbles, a strand of textured ribbons, a loop of colorful wooden beads, as well as a satin or faux suede pocket for personal essentials and a Velcro tab patch. Plush fabric in the form of a muff provides warmth for the hands. In addition to tactile and mental stimulation, all offer exercise for the hands as well as relief from arthritis.
The detachable Twiddle gadgets allow the Muff to be machine cleaned. Many have been put through countless machine washing cycles in industrial machines and still look and work like new!
~ Margaret: Creator of the Twiddle Muff
Professional caregivers rave about the effectiveness of Twiddles®. Having something to hold and manipulate, something to “twiddle” or fidget with, has a calming effect on a person who has dementia. The textures, the gadgets, the warm coziness of the Twiddles® are all there for just that reason. The stimulation they provide truly adds to the individual’s quality of life.
According to Linda Goy, director of life enrichment at the Scottish Home, a residential living facility in West Suburban Chicago: “The resident will talk to the Twiddle Muff, particularly if it is the pup or cat. ‘I want to hug you; you are a good boy; you are so cute.’ I’ve also seen it prompt unexpected conversation between residents. One will ask the other, ‘May I hold your cat?'” This often stimulates conversation and social interaction among residents as well as among family members.
Pat Benda, R.N.C., director of nursing at the Scottish Home adds, “We are all concerned about over using meds, but we want to minimize the agitation and anxiety our residents sometimes exhibit. The Twiddle®Muff is a welcome alternative. Of course, the medication needs of our patients vary from day to day, from person to person and from situation to situation. The muff doesn’t necessarily replace meds, but may allow us to reduce dosage, or give fewer doses a day.”
This observation is supported by Corie Larocque, Alzheimer’s coordinator for Brighton Gardens in Wheaton, IL. “(The Twiddle®Muff) immediately helps calm the resident, directing their focus and energy on one thing. In my experience, the muff does reduce the needs for meds.”
These are the original Twiddle®Muffs! designed especially for the person with Alzheimer’s. Twiddle®Muff is a registered trademark. Others have tried to copy it, but none can compare to the real Twiddle®Muff.
What Others Are Saying
About Twiddle Muffs
Mama loves her new “puppy”. She named it Poo-Bah…I have no idea where that came from! The very best part was that she actually tied a perfect bow with the ribbons. She tied the little baggie of homemade cookies that we had also given her, to the puppy, using the ribbons. I took a great photograph of this event! The staff was amazed, and told me that now they have an idea what to suggest to other residents’ loved ones, for gifts. My Aunt’s son is also very interested in the puppy, as she too has Alzheimer’s. I have given your web site to them. I plan to revisit it as well, to find even more items for Mama and for the “memory care community” where she now lives. I’m so glad I put “gifts for Alzheimer’s” in the search engine. ~Marilyn
This is the second one we have purchased. The first was the dog and she has worn that one out. She absolutely loves these. ~ Colleen
Ok, I was as skeptical as most prudent folks would be, but I took a chance and bought this for my mother, who is suffering from a rapidly-advancing case of dementia. I’m currently over in Afghanistan, and speaking with her on the phone was heart-wrenching. Thankfully, she still knows I’m her son, but not what my name is.
I took a leap of faith and ordered the Twiddle Pup after a friend’s recommendation and the seemingly incredible reviews. I was not disappointed. I don’t know the science behind it, but my mother instantly fell in love with it, gave it a name, and carries it with her wherever she goes. She says “Rusty” provides her with much comfort, companionship, and a way to keep her frail hands warm on cold autumn evenings. I’m sure she doesn’t realize that playing with the enclosed marbles helps her circulation, but that’s ok. All she needs to know is that it keeps her hands warm and working.
In our last phone conversation, she gushed about it, and just hearing her enthusiastic about ANYTHING brought my heart all the warmth I had hoped for. It’s a bit pricey as far as stuffed animals go, but I have to admit it was well worthwhile. ~Chris
I was having trouble with my mom tearing paper, picking at her skin, just nervous behavior. This muff is perfect for her. She has things to touch and seems to particularly like the fringe which she will touch all day long. I guess she just needed something to do with her hands. ~Suzanne