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Prince George couple shares their dementia journey to help reduce stigma

Key Alzheimer Society of B.C. fundraiser in communities across B.C. on May 26

A poet, coach, wrestler, lacrosse player, teacher, father and grandfather, Brian Stanley was beginning to look forward to the next chapter of his life with his spouse Penny Jones. With four grown children, the couple had plans to begin travelling and spending more quality time together.

However, in 2021 Penny began noticing changes to the man she had spent more than two decades with.

“It was becoming quite a pattern to others that I couldn’t seem to remember certain everyday things in the house,” Brian says. “What light switch hits where and which closet has what in it? And we’d been living in this house for nearly 20 years.”

This began a journey of tests and doctor’s appointments, culminating in a diagnosis of early onset dementia in 2022.

Brian is among the more than 85,000 people living with dementia in British Columbia. This May, people across the province will have the opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of people like Brian, and Penny, by raising funds for essential Alzheimer Society of B.C. programs and services.

Brian and Penny are being honoured at the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s largest fundraiser, the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s, presented by Go Auto, in Prince George for their contribution to the community and their desire to share their story to help other people affected by dementia. Taking place in communities across the province on Sunday, May 26, proceeds from the event help provide critical supports for people affected by dementia while breaking down stigma surrounding the disease.

One of the resources Penny relies on as the spouse of a person living with dementia is the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s First Link® Dementia Helpline.

“When Brian was first diagnosed, I phoned them and I don’t know what it was, I just lost control,” Penny says. “I’m not generally a crier. Every time I phone them, I cry. And I think it’s just because there’s a safe person that gets it.”

To help make a difference in the lives of people like Brian and Penny on the dementia journey in your community, visit

If you are affected by dementia, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. can help. Call the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033 or visit