Emotionally absent caregiver – I visited my aunt in the hospital on short notice, I had to postpone a critical business trip and fly to the city where she was. While there, I was on the phone trying to reschedule meetings, get on conference calls and close business deals. I took the time to talk to the doctor and social worker at the hospital. I tried really hard I thought to get things put physically in place and left on the first flight out when I was satisfied with all the help I had provided to meet her physical needs. Never did I have a conversation with her about her emotional needs, fears and desires.
Physically absent caregiver – My uncle could be very difficult to talk to, he repeated himself, got angry, complained, and was verbally aggressive. I was really the only person in his life that had any inclination of becoming his caregiver. Even then while my personal life was extra busy, I would stop answering his calls, in fact I would stop answering any calls from that area code.
Best emotional intentions caregiver – This too happened with me and my uncle. I would decide before every conversation with him that I was going to be very patient with him, because I did feel a lot of empathy for his situation. I would promise myself I would behave at least this one time, but then, I could not control my emotional outbursts at what I thought was unreasonable behavior on his part.
Best physical intentions caregiver – One time when my dad was in the hospital I got there and 1 minute later my phone rang – there was a life or death crisis at work. I had to leave his room. While I was taking care of the crisis at work, I got a text message from my daughter that she needed to be picked up from soccer practice. Then an email from my husband that the garage door was not opening and he did not have the keys to get in the house. Three hours later I got back to my dad… only to find him fast asleep. The doctor was long gone on Friday afternoon with tons of my dad’s questions still unanswered. The social worker was also gone till Monday.