Words make sense for dementia

December 4, 2021 BY

Caring: Parks Victoria area chief ranger Siobhan Rogan, Anne Tudor, and Buninyong MP Michaela Settle at the launch of Green Scripts. Photo: FIONA WATSON

AS the rain softly fell on the dementia friendly forest and sensory trail in Woowookarung Regional Park for the recent launch of Green Scripts, it was clear that being in nature is good for your health.

Green Scripts is a tool that can be used by people living with dementia in conjunction with the trail, and its co-creator Dr Mark Yates acknowledged the work of Caroline Gibson, who he said was the brains behind the project.

Dr Yates also said that all the health literature states that being in nature improves brain activity.

“This beautiful space is just the beginning of promoting the use of the park and nature in a different way,” he said.

“The forest and the trail have made a positive difference to a lot of people through maximising positive experiences and minimising stress and anxiety.”

The launch of Green Scripts was also a wider celebration of project backer Bigger Hearts Dementia Alliance.

At the event acknowledgments were paid to many people who played a significant role in the development in the Bigger Hearts and Green Scripts.

They included Anne Tudor, who has continued the work she and her partner Edie initiated. In 2021 she’s received a medal in the Order of Australia, and a Victorian senior of the year award for her efforts.

Also recognised were dementia patient Lennyce and her husband David Westaway, and others who co-designed the dementia friendly forest and sensory trail with a committee of landscape architects.

Buninyong MP Michaela Settle, who has been an advocate for the project, and area chief ranger with Parks Victoria, Siobhan Rogan, were both also acknowledged.

Ms Rogan said that she could not be prouder of what Parks Victoria achieved in collaboration with key stakeholders, and for Ms Settle it was an emotional time.

“While lesser mortals might rest on their laurels, Anne keeps moving forward to build a better life for people living with dementia,” Ms Settle said.

“This is an extraordinary project. Anne has been duly recognised and I offer my heartfelt congratulations on her awards.”