by David Carlyle

You can never have too many PALZ

Past District 9780 Governor, Cathy Roth, has always believed that Rotarians are primed to identify and meet community needs.

When her fellow Rotarian and surgeon husband John was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, Cathy realised there was a need to support professional Alzheimer’s sufferers such as John.

PALZ – Professionals with Alzheimer’s was born from the desperate need Cathy saw for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and similar diseases, to maintain dignity and mental stimulus.


Alzheimer’s Australia reports there will be about 400,000 people with dementia by 2020 and a staggering 900,000 by 2050. Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in Australians over the age of 65 years and the third leading cause of death in Australia.

Diagnosis is often accompanied by social and intellectual deprivation, and personal identity and self-worth challenges. Seeing this first hand after receiving John’s diagnosis, Cathy set up PALZ as an organisation to assist high-achievers with dementia to maintain dignity and respect through active participation and interaction within a socially and intellectually stimulating environment.  

PALZ groups will be established across Australia, and the organisation will facilitate research through the tax-deductable status it is currently seeking.

At bi-monthly meetings, members have the opportunity to hear corporate speakers who have been briefed on the need for multi-sensory inputs and repetition of key points to meet the needs of their audience. An annual national conference is also planned. Each PALZs group will be autonomous but report annually to the PALZ Board.  

For more information contact Cathy Roth directly on