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Robyn's husband Wayne is living with younger onset dementia. Robyn first noticed changes in Wayne’s personality and cognitive skills.
“I knew about younger onset dementia, but you always think of dementia as memory loss and with Wayne it was a very big change in the way he thinks and his personality. All of a sudden, he wanted to leave work and do something different, go on another career path and I thought ‘oh, midlife crisis’ but unbeknownst to me he wasn’t coping at work. He wasn’t coping with things that 12 months prior to that he coped with very easily.”
Being diagnosed with younger onset dementia when Wayne was just 51 years old was challenging for the couple.
“When you’re given the diagnosis, you’re told to get your affairs in order, go and get a bucket list and this is it. But the more you research and the more we get along in this journey, we’ve learned it’s not the end.”
Robyn and Wayne’s first interaction with Dementia Australia was through the National Dementia Helpline and they were supported to find the right support services for their situation.
“I was given a myriad of advice but the counselling stood out as what we needed and we had face to face counselling as well as support over the phone.
“I felt I always had someone on the other end of the line with Dementia Australia, someone to talk to, someone that knew what we were going to face and what the future might hold for us and what services were available. That gave me a sense of ok there is something that is going to be there for us as we go through the stages.”
“Contact Dementia Australia as soon as you can. The initial days are a blur but when you can, contact Dementia Australia because the support there is amazing.”
Dementia Australia provides a range of services for people living with dementia, their families and their carers. To find the best support service for you, please call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 or visit our website at www.dementia.org.au