Free Sensory Crochet Patterns for Dementia Patients

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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

Free Sensory Crochet Patterns for Dementia Patients

You may also enjoy these free patterns:

20 Free Crochet Patterns for Bookmarks

Grandma’s Lap Blanket Free Pattern

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:

Fiddle Mats, Muffs & Cuffs

If you would prefer to Sew a Fidget Mat, here are some great options:

Fidget Quilts

Fidget-Sensory-Blanket-for-Alzheimers - Loopingly Made by Rose - Featured FCPF at ODC

Sensory Blanket for Alzheimer's - Free Pattern

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
Crocheted-Fidget-Sensory-Lap-Mat at AFCAP - Featured at FCPF with ODC

Clever Crochet Fidget Lap Mat

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
Crochet-Twiddle-Muff-from Rose - Featured at FCPF with ODC

Twiddle Muff Crochet Pattern

Rose at Loopingly Made has also designed a great Twiddle Muff Crochet Pattern. This Twiddle Muff is crocheted with Medium Weight Yarn [4] and a 5 mm (H) hook. You will also need a 4.5 mm hook.

Read More
Sensory Book - Winding Road Crochet - Featured FCPF at ODC

Sensory Book Pattern

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

Sensory Cube Free Pattern

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

Stroke me Soother Twiddle Muff Hand Blanket

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

Fidget Muff Pattern

This Fidget Muff Pattern from Tracy Wesolek is crocheted with Medium Weight Yarn [4] and a 5 mm (H) hook. This muff includes hidden beads on the inside too!

Read More

Twiddle Muffs for Phylis

This pretty twiddle muff was designed by Hooked on Sunshine for her Ouma. You will need DK Weight Yarn [3] and a 4 mm (G) hook.

Read More

Twiddle Muff Pattern

Crochet a twiddle muff using Medium Weight Yarn [4] and a 8 mm (L) hook. These twiddle muffs come in sizes S/M and M/L. This pattern is available from Shirley MacDonald and available in both UK and US terms.

Watch the Video Read More

How to Crochet a Twiddle Muff

This video tutorial helps to explain how to make a Twiddle Muff. The instructions are provided by LoveCrafts.

Watch the Video Read More

Videos in this Collection

Twiddle Muff Pattern

How to Crochet a Twiddle Muff


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  1. Hi Nicole-Ruth, I’m sorry to hear your Nana is going through dementia. I hope you can find something to make her from the options that will bring her comfort. I know for my Gramps he was always pulling at invisible strings that he saw on things – trying to grasp them and it was very frustrating for him not to be able to get them. The blankets with the strings or bits he could pull were his favorite because he could actually grasp something and give it a tug and he I think felt he was accomplishing that ‘task’ to pull on that string he saw. It comforted him some. Wishing you and your loved ones the very best, Rhondda

  2. I am so sorry for your loss, dementia is a horrible disease. Thank you so much for this, my nana has dementia, I made her a mobilus cro het fidget ring but she forgets what to do with it.. I think some of these patterns will be so much better for her.

  3. Hi Teresa, I’m happy to hear the post helped you find additional options for your Mum! I’m also happy to hear you were able to visit her again. It must have been super hard to not be able to spend time with her during Covid restrictions. xo Rhondda

  4. My Mum has dementia and I came across Loopingly Made’s gorgeous fidget blanket and made that, only to discover these twiddlemuffs when I went to visit her (when I was finally able to – thanks covid and living in another country) My Mum was a prolific crafter before dementia, a hugely talented quilter, and will still fold anything that sits still long enough into pieces that look quiltable. I want to thank you so much for this article, my next item will be a twiddlemuff, but I might just have to give one of those books a try too. What will work for my Mum varies from day to day – so it’s great too have all of these options.

  5. Rhondda, I’m delighted to have found your site this evening! I’ve been crocheting hats and scarves for charity for several years, items mainly for children, but recently was asked if I might consider items for seniors, particularly those in nursing homes. I’ve started on lap blankets and capelets, and then just tonight I learned about these “twiddle muffs.” I will definitely be making some of these now, too. Thank you for making these free patterns available.

  6. Hi Janet, I’m sorry you had this experience – it is scary when they don’t remember their mobility issues and then end up hurting themselves. We can only help them so much – my Gramps seemed to ‘reset’ every time he slept too – so he’d be doing good remembering and then he’d fall into a quick nap and wake up a few minutes later not remembering again and we’d have to begin all over. I think it is a great idea to use up some of stashed yarn for this purpose. We can always add the extra fidget bits that we need to purchase (if we don’t have them already in our craft boxes) after the Pandemic is over. xo Rhondda

  7. My mom had dementia and alzheimers. She, too, would forget that she had broken her hip when she’d fallen in the nursing home. She’d been put there until her cracked ribs could heal. She ended up breaking both hips. I’ll never forget her screams when taken to the hospital and they needed to get x-rays. She also had COPD. She was in the nursing home 6 months before she passed away.
    I found a crochet pattern booklet on making mats & muffs. I made one and gave it to the nursing home that mom had been in. Unfortunately she was in one that is a 45-50 minute drive from me. I’ve been meaning to make more (my sister and I had gone to the nursing home one day and I’d made a mat to take with us to see if they liked it & would they think the residents would like them). Unfortunately life has been keeping me from making more; I have health issues which sometimes makes it hard for me to crochet, have family to crochet for, etc.
    Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me that I should take the time to make more. At least I could make some during the “stay home” order and take them to the home when we’re allowed to visit.