Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/1/2019 (733 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Glen Fraser worked for CN as a trainman, and for the government with Northern Affairs, before running his own painting and decorating business.
In 2016, the father of three received a diagnosis of early onset dementia. It was hard for him, not being able to drive anymore. Gone were the father-and-son car-rides and the enjoyable bonding time they gave him with one of his three adult children. But with the support and love of his wife Elaine, Glen has been doing alright, taking things in stride and forging ahead through it all.
"I don’t feel any different, I’m not worried about anything. This affliction I have is just that, I can live with it," Glen, who lives in Garden City, said.
January is Alzheimer Awareness Month, highlighted by the I Live with Dementia campaign throughout the month of January.
Glen has a positive outlook on the disease and still continues to socialize in his community, attending a weekly support group, for people living with dementia, through the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba (ASM).
"He loves it, he looks forward to it, and enjoys going. There are so many different people there," said Elaine, his wife and caregiver.
While he’s there, Elaine is with what she calls the breakfast group at the street level café below the ASM offices. There she enjoys conversation with partners of those who live with dementia.
Glen is still high-functioning and can be left at home alone.
"The thoughts are in his head but they’re not always coming out of his mouth," explained Elaine.
This year’s campaign, #ilivewithdementia, focuses on the humanity that is still a part of every person living with dementia. Across the country, brave and passionate voices are coming together to challenge attitudes and stop the stigma related to dementia.
"It’s not something you’re gonna catch," Elaine said.
The Alzheimer Society of Manitoba provides programs and support services for the 22,500-plus Manitobans who have forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, and their caregivers.
The Alzheimer Society is a leading Canadian funder of dementia research and has invested, to date, over $53 million in bio-medical and quality-of-life research through their research program.
Glen and Elaine, married for 49 years, are doing their best with whatever comes their way, and not giving up, no matter what. "We are a family," Elaine said with great affirmation.
Things can get challenging sometimes, and frustrating too, both for those living with the disease and for those who love them. Elaine emphasizes the need to continue doing things you enjoy doing and talking to people to share the load.
"Make sure to talk to somebody. It’s good to have friends to talk at or vent with. And join a support group."
St. Boniface community correspondent
Janine LeGal is a community correspondent for St. Boniface.