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Catherine has faced more than her share of tough times lately - from navigating her son’s cancer journey to her husband’s heart surgery. But just as the darkness was starting to lift, Catherine was diagnosed with dementia. She was 56 years old.

Dementia is the leading cause of death for Australian women. Your generosity can provide families impacted with life-changing support when they need it most – and advance research into finding a cure.

Please support families in need with a gift today.


Watch Catherine's Story


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Meet Catherine

Navigating challenging times

A few years before Catherine’s diagnosis, her children started to notice she was getting nervous and becoming lost while driving. Being so young and healthy, her family put it down to menopause - but then things took a scary turn. Catherine was driving and hit a parked car – and she couldn’t remember it at all.

An MRI led to more scans and tests which led to the shocking diagnosis. “I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was the end for me. I said to my husband, 'What are we going to do? Who’s going to help us?'" Catherine says.

Today, with 421,000 Australians living with dementia and the numbers expected to rise, the urgency for support is greater than ever.

Your donation provides important support services that can enhance the quality of life for people like Catherine. You’ll also be funding ground-breaking research aimed at understanding and eventually overcoming dementia.

A carer's journey

The ripple effects of dementia

As Catherine’s primary carer and partner for 34 years, Steven has faced the task of balancing full-time work with the demands of caregiving, all while grappling with the loss of their shared dreams for the future. "I was really angry. And then there's a sense of dread about the future," Steven reflects.

Struggling to cope, Catherine and Steven reached out to Dementia Australia for help, and thanks to the support of our donors, we were able to connect them with professional counsellors. Their chats allowed the couple to talk openly about their feelings and recognise the need for additional support – not just for Catherine but for Steven as well.

“My mental health was slipping…Getting help made me realise I need to keep doing other things in my life to be whole. Otherwise, I’m not going to be any good to Catherine.”

No family should have to go through dementia alone. Your gift can support families like Catherine's along their journey and help us get one step closer to a future without dementia.


Dementia can happen to people in their 30's, 40's and 50's


Younger onset dementia is any form of dementia in people under the age of 65.


Younger onset dementia is often misdiagnosed. Early detection is vital.


Currently there is no single test to diagnose younger onset dementia and there is no cure.


It is estimated there are almost 29,000 people living with younger onset dementia in Australia.

Dementia in numbers

The number of people living with dementia in Australia continues to grow at an alarming rate.

421,000 Australians live with dementia, and that is expected to increase to more than 812,500 by 2054.

Dementia is the leading cause of death for Australian women, and the second leading cause of death overall.

1.6 million carers, family members and friends are involved in the care of someone living with dementia.