Grandchildren Caring For Grandparents Suffering from Alzheimer's Disease - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Grandchildren Caring For Grandparents Suffering from Alzheimer's Disease

Donnie Harper Donnie Harper
Treva Harper Treva Harper

While parents are working grandchildren are more commonly becoming care givers for grandparents with Alzheimer's Disease.

NewsChannel 10 spoke with single mother who had no choice but to ask her son to drop out of high school.

Nineteen-year old Donnie Harper wanted to join the military after he graduated high school but he never finished.

Instead he was at home caring for his grandmother. He says, "for the most part  I pretty much never left the house and stayed here I almost felt like a prisoner in my own home."

Donnie says at first it was easy to care for her, but after a year and a half of watching her 24 hours a day he says turned into someone he did not know.

"I had some really bad thoughts about her, things that I might do and it helped whenever I had a chance to get out and relax, and stop thinking about it and take a personal day."

His mother tells me she feels guilty her children had to deal with the emotional strains of Alzheimer's.

Treva Harper says, "You have no real control over the fact that your kids are going through it too, so then that's heart breaking and stressful and frustrating and you don't know whether to cry to shout or be mad."

One week ago their grandmother was placed in a nursing home in Ohio near extended family.

Donnie tells me he still hopes to join the military one day.

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