By Tony Lopez

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As millions donate to nonprofits on the Big Day of Giving, the Northern California Alzheimer’s Association continues to push for a cure and treatment for the crippling disease.

Alzheimer’s is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. It remains the only disease in the Top 6 with no cure and no treatment.

In fact, more people die from Alzheimer’s and dementia than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

One in three seniors dies of the disease.

Volunteer Jennifer Harrington lost her mother, Joan Langland, to the disease.

“When I first called the Alzheimer’s Association I had no idea what to do. I’ll never forget how lost I felt,” she said.

Jennifer found the help she needed by reaching out and discovering ways to communicate with her mom, which included not correcting her as the disease progressed.

Jennifer says, “Just as one example, not to argue with her if she thought it was the afternoon and it was really the morning; if she thought it was December and it was actually August.”

David Pisani, the regional director of the local Alzheimer’s Association, reminds us of the toll the disease takes on caregivers.

“In the greater Sacramento area there are approximately 180,000 caregivers to loved ones with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia…that’s an astounding number of individuals, and so often those people feel that they’re alone,” he said.

Jennifer Harrington wants people to know they don’t have to feel alone.

 

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