This week I have located 10 free sensory crochet patterns for you to make for your loved ones, or to donate to a local Nursing Home. You will find crochet patterns for sensory sleeves, fidget mats, sensory books, cannula sleeves and twiddle muffs in this collection.
Watch this video to see different options of items you can include on your project – and notice there are bits inside the muffs too – not just on the outside! So they can fiddle with them when their hands are inside.
To get straight to the free pattern links, skip my story below and scroll to the bottom of this post!
Many of you know my Gramps had Alzheimer’s disease. We cared for him for as long as we could in our own home; with helpful assistance provided from Veteran’s Affairs in Canada.
But once Gramps started to become immobile (his one leg stopped supporting his weight) and he kept forgetting that he couldn’t stand and walk by himself, things became more dangerous for him. His Alzheimer’s made him forget he couldn’t walk and he would constantly start to get up and then he would slide slowly to the floor.
Once he was on the floor we couldn’t get him back into his chair without my husband’s help – and my husband was at work during the daytime – it became very distressing for all of us. Especially for him. So we had no choice but to have him placed into a Nursing Home near us.
The Nursing Home in Milverton was wonderful. They cared for him like he was a member of their family and he appeared happy there. He lived there for just over 3 years (2011-2014). He was always quiet and respectful – peaceful and kind. He never remembered who we were exactly, but he knew we were family.
Strangely, he always knew who my children were though – and he adored their visits – as did the other residents in the home. They all “lit up” as soon as my two (Drew was 1 and Darla almost 3) came into the building.
We visited as frequently as we could (3 times a week for the first year and a bit) until it became difficult to contain my little boy to his stroller for the hour long visit. If Drew got out of his stroller and the room door opened he flew out that door and down the hall.
My son Drew wanted to explore (like any little toddler) and he wanted to touch and taste EVERYTHING. He also liked to run about like a wee devil (which made the residents smile and point) – but was not safe for anyone.
Plus, because Drew was born with Neutropenia, I was terribly concerned about him getting sick. The tasting of anything his grubby little hand could find was more than this worried mama could handle. As it was, he had to go to the Hospital every Wednesday for finger pokes to check his blood to be sure he was still at safe levels.
As a result, we had to start decreasing our visits and thankfully this corresponded to when my sister and her husband were able to visit more often. I still feel terrible for not being able to keep up those visits. I do know that he would have understood.
One thing I noticed during all of our visits was how his fingers ‘picked’ at things – things that none of us could see. Imaginary crumbs on his table, on his sleeve, on his hands. He was constantly trying to pick something up that we could not see and he seemed surprised when he couldn’t find it in his fingers.
We usually had Darla’s iPad with us when we were there and he intuitively knew how to use it – having never seen one before in his life he played games with her and her little characters easily (she loved all the Toca Boca apps).
I didn’t crochet back then, but if I had, I would have made him one of these Sensory Patterns. Or designed one myself that would have items in it that he used in his life (like that measuring tape he always carried in his back pocket) and his keys.
I hope you will be able to find something useful in this collection to make for your loved one who has Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.
Sending prayers that your loved ones are safe and healthy,
10 Free Crochet Sensory Patterns for Dementia Patients
You may also enjoy these free patterns:
Joanita from Creative Crochet Workshop designs some fantastic Crochet Playbooks. You could use many of these designs for fidget books – just be sure you attach everything securely and do not have removable bits – for safety reason.
This book is also available:
If you would prefer to Sew a Fidget Mat, here are some great options:
This fantastic sensory blanket designed by Rose at Loopingly Made was provided as a crochet along. The finished project measures 17.2 inches wide X 21 inches tall. I love how she used different textures and materials in this project.Read More
This great fidget lap mat was designed by Rose at Loopingly Made for All Free Crochet Afghan Patterns. The finished size is 15.8 inches wide X 19.5 inches tall. The mat uses 2-strands of Medium Weight Yarn (held together) and a 6.5 mm hook for the body of the mat.Read More
Rose at Loopingly Made has also designed a great Twiddle Muff Crochet Pattern. This Twiddle Muff is crocheted with Medium Weight Yarn  and a 5 mm (H) hook. You will also need a 4.5 mm hook.Read More
This Sensory Book designed by Lindsey from Winding Road Crochet was designed for babies - however, I think it is a great project for people who have Dementia too. You can easily add fidget items to the highly textured pages. If you don't want it to assemble a book you can easily make a single page as the base for your Sensory Project.Read More
Bright and colorful this fun Sensory Cube has different textures (I especially love the tree) and shapes to fiddle with. Whether you use all the pieces to make a cube, or pick and cheese squares to seam together for a sensory mat, this is a great project to try.Read More
This pretty Twiddle Muff is lovely, soft and feminine. If you read Sarah's post it totally made me think of my own Nana and the kind of muff she might have considered wearing. This great pattern is written in UK Terms so be sure to remember dc means sc in US terms!Read More
This Fidget Muff Pattern from Tracy Wesolek is crocheted with Medium Weight Yarn  and a 5 mm (H) hook. This muff includes hidden beads on the inside too!Read More
This pretty twiddle muff was designed by Hooked on Sunshine for her Ouma. You will need DK Weight Yarn  and a 4 mm (G) hook.Read More