Living with dementia: "I can not let it stop me," says Windsor


June and Cleveland MaGee are shown in a Windsor apartment on January 8, 2019. June has vascular dementia and has a very limited short-term memory, but continues to live a full life.

Dan Janisse / Windsor Star

You do not tell the June MaGee that you're a little absent too.

"I'm not afraid to tell someone that I have dementia," said Windsor, 80, this week. "Sometimes you tell someone and they say," Oh, no, no, I also forget things and I say it's not the same. You forget things. Your one could come back. My no.

If you are afraid to talk about dementia, do not understand or try to understand dementia, and you complain that your forgetfulness is similar to Alzheimer's, this does not help in more than half a million Canadians living with dementia.

January is the month of awareness of Alzheimer's disease, but this year the campaign focuses on people living with dementia, including Alzheimer's, and the elimination of stigma.

Fifty-five percent of Canadians have admitted that a derogatory or stigmatizing language about dementia was used in an online survey in 2017 by the Alzheimer Society. Approximately 30 percent said they said dementia-related jokes.

One of the four Canadians said they would feel ashamed or embarrassed if they had a dementia.

She does not complain about her forgetfulness with reference to Alzheimer's disease, said Peggy Winch, Head of Fund Development and Community Participation in Alzheimer's Windsor Society and Essex County.

"Do not get rid of" Oh, that must be the cancer I have "," she said. "It's actually a disease and it's not a joke."

Any experience with dementia and its progression is different, she said. Some continue to drive and work.

"People can still live well with dementia," said Winch.

If you do not tell anyone that you are more cut off from society, MaGee said that her friends are very supportive.

MaGee lives with vascular dementia, caused by a disturbed blood flow to the brain. It was diagnosed in 2012. Suddenly she will not know where she was in the apartment. It has no medication, it has limited short-term memory and does not know how fast its dementia will progress.

But she and her husband, Cleveland, remained active. When she had to cease serving communion at a panic moment, when she could not remember what she should do, she turned to the cleaning of the silver vessels in the Church of the Assumption. Couple goes to a memorial cafe at the Ojibway Nature Center, where people with dementia and their caregivers are dating. She wants to encourage newcomers, because somebody surrounded her when she first went, and she said, "You'll be fine."

"I can not be around, because I'm dissatisfied, even though I am. I can not let him stop me, "she said, what she learned in the first year after diagnosis.

MaGee and her husband have just returned from Cuba and go again. She may not remember the details of the journey later, but she will like it.

Ron Robert from London is one of the people whose story appears in the national "Yes. I live with dementia a month.

The 81-year-old lives with Alzheimer's. It was diagnosed three years ago.

Robert studied political science at Wilfrid Laurier University and moved from D to A. He is now studying at King's College London in London and is finalizing a research paper on the benefits of education for people with dementia.

"Life has a lot of impacts on the road. My dementia is just one of those bulges. You will not give up when you encounter an obstacle, "he said.


More than half a million Canadians living with dementia are projected to have doubled in less than 15 years.

It is estimated that 4780 residents of Windsor and Essex have dementia.

In London, there are 8,500 people living with dementia.

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"I'm not afraid." June and Cleveland MaGee are shown in their Windsor apartment on Tuesday. June has vascular dementia and has a very limited short-term memory, but says it does not prevent living a life.

Dan Janisse /

Windsor Star


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