twiddle muffs for alzheimers and dementia

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.

Twiddles are a reassuring addition to your caregiver resources, and provide a less-expensive, drug-free therapy option ideal for use in any setting.

Buttoned to the outside are three detachable, attention-getting gadgets:

Original Twiddle MuffTwiddle Original



  • a sealed satin/buckskin crackle pouch
  • a strand of three long, satin ribbons
  • a loop of colorful wooden beads in various sizes

Additional features:

  • a Velcro® pull-tab for attachment to a walker, wheelchair or bed tray
  • a name tag for personilizing the Twiddle
  • Muff is machine-washable – gadgets should be hand-washed
  • safety-tested to meet U.S. & European standards – CE certified for sale in Europe

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!

Twiddle SportTwiddle Sport



Twiddle®Muff was created to give (my Grandmother’s) inquisitive hands something to keep them moving, active and warm and remind her how much she is loved……..even when I

couldn’t be with her.

~ Margaret: Creator of the Twiddle Muff

Twiddle Muffs for Vimeo

Twiddle PupTwiddle Pup



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.

What Others are Saying

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.

Twiddle Muff |Bernice with her Twiddle Cat. "When I look at the eyes and mouth it makes me think I'm okay. Where did I get this little pumpkin pie?" ~ Bernice

“When I look at the eyes and mouth it makes me think I’m okay. Where did I get this little pumpkin pie?”
~ Bernice

Another from Pat Benda, R.N.C., director of nursing at the Scottish Home. She 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®Muff s! 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.


  • MAKING THE INTRODUCTION  Because everyone is different, consider the personality and individuality of your loved one when purchasing and presenting the Twiddle Muff. A person who likes animals will probably do well with the Pup or one of the Cats. An analytic personality might begin her connection by evaluating the Twiddle. A nurturer may be pleased to “look after” it for a while. This product does contain small parts, and it should only be used with supervision.

  • CHANGE-UP  Add some variety to the activity by moving the gadgets around. Try the beads inside the Muff and the ball on the outside. If certain attachments pose an accident risk, remove it, at least temporarily. Some people, for example, like to chew. The ball that comes attached to the interior of the Twiddle is relatively safe and can pacify this need. The string of beads, on the other hand, could pose a swallowing risk, and probably should be removed.

  • POCKET POTPOURRI  The pocket on the side of the Twiddle can hold any number of interesting objects, from a tissue or favorite photograph, to a prized keepsake. Or put some oil in a Tangle Aromatherapy and hide it in the pocket for some added therapeutic value. Change the pocket contents each day to add interest and an element of surprise!

Care Instructions

  • PERSONALIZE THE TWIDDLE MUFF  Each Twiddle comes with a name tag for identification. This can be especially helpful if your loved one is in a care community. Use an indelible marker to write his or her name on the tag. This can add pride-of-ownership to the long list of benefits that the Twiddle Muff can offer.

  • CARE INSTRUCTIONS  Depending on use, the Twiddle should be laundered periodically. All attachments can be removed for cleaning.  Machine wash and dry the Muff. Attachments should be hand washed. Not intended for children under three years of age.


What Others Are Saying
About Twiddle Muff s

Twiddle Muff |Brown Twiddle CatTwiddle Cat



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

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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

Best Alzheimer's Products small logo

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

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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

Doubters become Believers

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.

Best Alzheimer's Products small logo

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.



7 replies
  1. Heather Marchand
    Heather Marchand says:

    Is there a pattern available for the Twiddle Muffs? I would like to make some to donate to our local nursing homes.

    • John Schmid
      John Schmid says:

      Hi Heather – No, the pattern is not available; in fact, the Twiddle line is copyrighted (not by us) and should not be copied, even to donate. Truthfully, bu the time you track down and purchase the material you won’t be saving much over the cost of the actual muffs. Add your time to the project and your saving becomes and expense.


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