Sherry's Story

A son, a brother, a best friend, a dad, and a husband of 59 years. Frank Maston, affectionately known as “Papa Maston”, was known as a hard worker who loved nature, exercise, hunting, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Papa Maston was a member of the Minto Country Music Wall of Fame and passed his love for music down to his grandchildren. He was a church man, and those who knew him would describe him as “jolly” and “the life of the room”. Papa Maston was a great man – a man with vascular dementia.


Those in the Grand Lake and surrounding area knew Papa Maston, his wife Rita, and grandchildren Katelyn and Christopher as avid volunteers. They helped raise money for those who were sick, for those in need to shelters, for churches and gospel festivals, for special care and nursing homes, and for Christmas functions. Papa and Katelyn also enjoyed performing at the New Brunswick Country Showcase at the Fredericton Exhibition.

“Cognitive Impairment – No Dementia?”

“Early Vascular Dementia – Subcortical Type”

“Passed Mini Mental”

What do these terms actually mean? For those not in the medical field, the definitions can be unclear. If you were to pass a cognitive test (mini mental), are things really okay?

On July 4th, 2016 – Frank “Papa” Maston took his own life at his beloved hunting camp. He became ashamed and frustrated with his decline in memory and cognitive function. He was unable to cope with forgetting names, forgetting how to operate his lawn tractor, not remembering where to insert the key to drive his vehicle, or even how to cast a fishing rod. He forgot the right chords to play on his guitar, and the rhythm of the songs he was trying to play. He would become lost while travelling to the local health centre and would sit in the bathroom while his wife showered because he was afraid.

I am his youngest child. I am a nurse who commits to furthering my education and knowledge in the dementia field. It is frustrating to attend conferences and information sessions, only to realize how far behind the province of New Brunswick is in regards to dementia care. The Council on Aging has done a tremendous job of creating an “Aging Strategy for New Brunswick” – an action-oriented plan designed to create a sustainable system that will respond to the challenges associated with an aging population. The goal is to have individuals remain independent and engaged in their community for as long as safely possible.

This is more important now than it ever has been before to ensure that others do not have to go through the same things.

Sherry Farrell RN BN
Minto, NB

Last Updated: 05/01/2019