WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - As many as 5.3 million people in the United Sates are living with Alzheimer's Disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
Diane Morrissey provides a support group for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, to help them learn to cope with the disease.
"It is a sad and lonely journey when care giving for people with Alzheimer's," said Morrissey.
Together, the family members learn how to deal with the burden placed upon them as they watch their loved one deteriorate.
Morrissey began coming to the group when her mother was diagnosed with the disease several years ago. She tried to take care of her mother on her own, but her condition worsened each day.
"She would come to the table, she'd eat dinner - by the time she finished dinner, if you took her plate away - she forgot she had ate," said Morrissey.
Morrissey decided to place her mother in an assisted living home. She had heard many horror stories of people who try to take advantage of the elderly who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
"I know people living on their own - from other stories that I've heard - have been taken advantage of," said Morrissey. "There's a lot of money missing, and nobody knows where it went."
As Morrissey and the rest of the group meet to share their stories, they will not forget to fight for their loved ones or ignore a growing problem worldwide.