Alzheimer's patients and family members gather to support each other

Group gathers to talk about Alzheimer'sAlzheimer's patients and caregivers who have been affected by the disease met for a "listening panel discussion," which allowed these individuals to talk about their experiences with the disease in order to spread awareness and gain support, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.

One by one, people spoke about their mother's diagnosis, their spouse's or their own. The intention of the event was for these stories to be heard so that there can be policies made to help these individuals and families, according to the news source.

"The idea is that if we're really going to move forward on policy, donations, and visibility around Alzheimer's and people who suffer, then we need to hear their stories," Victoria Hines, president and CEO of Visiting Nurse Service and a member of the listening panel, told the news source.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, 5.4 million people are affected by this disease, and that number is only going to skyrocket as baby boomers age. Because of this, there need to be more policies, retirement living communities and healthcare facilities developed for these patients.