Being present: an account of an exposure
Du Plessis, E.
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Introduction: When a caregiver is fully present with a person with intellectual disability, it leads to a rich relationship of greater understanding. The purpose of this research was to gain a better understanding of Presence through an exposure experience. Methods: The researcher engaged in an exposure experience of 1 month at a centre for adults with intellectual disability to experience the interaction between caregivers (n = 4) and residents (n = 10) and have reflective conversations with caregivers regarding their experience of providing care. She also kept a reflective journal and had several reflective conversations with a mentor, an expert in Presence. Thematic data analysis was employed. Results: Two main themes emerged, namely, ‘engaging in an exposure’ and ‘insights on Presence’. An exposure is a meaningful process of becoming aware. Presence is about recognising, awareness, perspective, connecting and attuning. Presence leads to good care but requires readiness in the caregiver. Management through relationship is important. Implications: The understanding gained from this research can be used to further refine the concept Presence, as experienced in the context of care for adults with intellectual disability. An in‐service training programme is offered for the caregivers at the centre regarding being present for one another and for the residents
- Faculty of Health Sciences