I gained my `wheelchair license´ in 1974, when the Multiple Sclerosis of my mother had worsened so far, that she couldn´t walk any more.
In a second course I learned more and more how the loss of physical abilities is of great influence on the quality of life. My own helplessness and my wish to do something were the basic motivation to become an Occupational Therapist.
Professional assistance for people in wheelchairs entered my life in 1988, when I started working in the Project `Focus´. There, in a suburb of Amsterdam, people lived with physical handicaps in individually adapted houses and got help for all daily living activities from a central agency.
Spinal cord injuries, CVA, Spina Bifida, Congenital Spasticity, Multiple Sclerosis – the variety of diseases were as diverse as the demands with regard to support with getting out of bed, taking a shower, getting dressed, using the toilet, eating, cooking and anything else which is part of a self-determined life.
For me, a self-determined life is a basic right for everybody. Self-determined travel and vacations belong to that. Personal assistance enables this.
To me, be an assitant means to be part of someone’s life, to be “their arms and legs“, so he or she can live life according to their own, individual wishes. To be present without taking over, to spend time together without unnecessary involvement – that is, for me, shared quality of living.
It´s like living together temporarily, but governing management belongs to the one requiring assistance.
The more individual a journey is going to be, the bigger the unforeseen obstacles may be. In countries with no norm for barrier-free access, the need for joint improvisation is much bigger. Whilst you can use an electrical wheelchair at home, there are many countries where you need to use a hand-pushed one.
To deal with the resulting dependence is the challenge for me and requires trust and clarity from you.
With mutual respect, openness and understanding, we can create your holiday in such a way that it will be a precious experience for you. If you book me, we will make an individual contract which will determine my services. You bear the costs for travelling, nourishment and accommodation.