Liberal senator Joyce Fairbairn has resigned from the Senate of Canada.

A notice released by the senate clerk on Friday stated that Fairbairn gave notice of her resignation to Governor General David Johnston.

Her resignation takes effect on Jan. 18, 2013.

This past summer it was revealed that Fairbairn had required care for 18 months after she was diagnosed with dementia. She went on an extended sick leave in September.

At 73, Fairbairn was two years from the Senate’s mandatory retirement age of 75.

Reports indicate that Fairbairn continued to sit in the Senate until it rose for the summer in late June, voting with the Liberals on at least a dozen pieces of legislation.

Fairbairn is a former journalist who worked in the office of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau for 14 years. She was appointed to the Senate in 1984 and was the first woman to serve as leader of the government in the Senate.