Dementia Sensory Trail

On Friday, 16 February, a group of local, passionate bush lovers met at the site of a proposed Dementia Sensory Trail to share their thoughts and ideas about making a particular part of Woowookarung Regional Park an amazing sound, touch, visual and smell experience for people living with dementia. This sensory garden will appeal to many others as well, including others living with disabilities. We came away very excited about the passion, dedication and interest of all those present and their commitment to providing people with dementia with an amazing space to enjoy not just the peace and quiet of an indigenous dementia sensory garden, but the bush sounds and ambience of almost 700 hectares of native bushland as well. The three senior members of Parks Victoria were in attendance as well as the Secretary and Treasurer of the Friends of Canadian Corridor who have an enthusiastic following of local members representing almost every profession. Both groups are extremely supportive of this project. The rest of the group comprised community members with dementia or are directly impacted by dementia. Parks Victoria Area Chief Ranger also talked about involving Ballarat East Men’s Shed, Federation University Seeding Victoria, local primary schools and Ballarat Field Naturalists.. People with dementia will be involved in propogating seeds selected by local Wathaurong advisors and will regularly assist in planting. What is so exciting and unusual about this project is the level of commitment and the planning which has already been done. Those of us from the dementia family felt an enormous level of community care and support; it was as if they were just waiting for us to join them.