#knitamitt for patients with dementia
Senior nurses at Poole Hospital are urging
keen knitters to make and send in special ‘memory mitts’ to support
the care of patients with dementia in hospital.
Memory mitts provide something patients can
hold and ‘twiddle’, helping to reduce anxiety and promote calm.
The mitts are simple knitted cuffs, to which a
range of items, including ribbons, buttons or beads, can be sown
and which provide activity for patients.
Kate Jones, dementia nurse specialist at the
hospital (pictured on the left with Lynsey Paul,
associate dementia nurse specialist), says that whilst a
simple idea, they can directly improve a patient’s time in
“Having something to hold and ‘twiddle’ can
have a calming effect on a person with dementia,” she said.
“The textures, the added accessories, and
warmth of the memory mitts provide stimulation and can help improve
the experience people with dementia have in hospital.
“They are an excellent way to help to combat
the restlessness and agitation that a patient with dementia may
“The pattern is very simple and is
perfect for using up left over and odd balls of wool - different
textures also promote stimulation.
“We would like as many people are possible to
put their knitting know-how to good use.”
To support good infection control practice,
each mitt can only be used by one patient, so as many as possible
Kate’s keen to promote the memory mitts
project on social media too, and is encouraging as many people and
organisations as possible to either share pictures of their
creations or spread the word using the hashtag #knitamitt
Finished mitts should be sent to: Memory
mitts, Room K4 12a, Stroke Rehab Unit, Poole Hospital, Longfleet
Road, Poole BH15 2JB, or left at the hospital’s main reception.
The memory mitt project is part of a range of
initiatives for patients with dementia at Poole Hospital.
How to knit a memory mitt
Needles: 6.5mm straight
needles or 8mm circular
Beads, zips, ribbons, anything
that can be ‘twiddled’ but will not break, be sharp to touch or
Cuff cast on 40 stitches using
2 strands of double knitting wool. You can also use 1 strand of
Work in stocking stitch (knit
a line, purl a line) for 11 inches (28cm)
Continue with stocking stitch
and use up any oddments of various textures of wool. For example:
chunky, mohair, snuggly, Eskimo, ribbon and chenille
Knit unit work measures 23
Neatly sew the long edges
together with purl side facing you
Turn the mitt inside out
Push the cuff up inside the
mitt body and neatly sew together the two short ends
Now it’s time to decorate
your memory mitt. Here are a few things to consider: choose a good
variety of decorations, such as beads, and colours
Include bits and bobs on the
inside too. Agitated hands can then be soothed and kept warm at the
Try to include at least six
decorations on the outside and four on the inside. You can add more
if you like
Make sure everything is sewn on
tight so it cannot be pulled off, and that there are no loose
Completed memory mitts should
be sent to:
Stroke rehabilitation ward
Room K4 12a
Alternatively drop them in at main reception
off Longfleet Road.