June is Alzheimer’s awareness month and community members like Sharon Cooper are working to spread awareness.

Cooper, a Santa Monica resident works as a financial advisor at Edward Jones in Marina del Rey and Edward Jones is the National Presenting Sponsor for Alzheimer’s Association. She said the company believes it is their duty to help the health and wealth of families who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the 5th leading cause of death in California, according to Alzheimer’s Association.

In 2017 there is an estimated 630,000 people living with Alzheimer. The number is expected to rise to 690,000 by 2020, and by 2025 it is estimated 840,000 people will be affected in California alone.

“This cause has been near and dear to my heart, as both of my parents had dementia,” said Cooper. “I have seen the impact it has on families and caregivers and it is important people are aware of the resources that are out there.”

As a financial advisor she makes it her goal to inform clients about the resources within the community.

The Alzheimer’s Association California Southland Chapter offers free, and local resources for those facing Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. On the first and third Thursday of each month they offer a support group from 10:30 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. at Welbrook Santa Monica. (1450 17th St.)

“I think the awareness is growing, and the importance of receiving resources is growing,” said Cooper. “However there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Cooper contributes much of her time to help coordinate multiple Alzheimer’s Association walks throughout the Westside region, on behalf of Edward Jones.

“In 2015 there were approximately 166,540 people 65 or older with Alzheimer’s disease in Los Angeles County,” said Alzheimer’s Association Communications Director, Allyson Laughlin.

With so many people affected by this disease Laughlin and Cooper are striving to make the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s Santa Monica the best one yet.

“We are currently building the Walk committee-local volunteers who bring it all together and are searching for members,” said Laughlin. “The majority of the funds raised at the California Southland Chapter’s Walk remain local, serving the Southland.”

Last year Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s Santa Monica raised nearly $78,000 and they hope to raise the same amount or more this year.

The Alzheimer’s Association will host their annual Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Santa Monica on Sept. 24, and it will take place in Tongva Park.

To donate or for more information visit http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2017/CACaliforniaSouthland?fr_id=10282&pg=entry.