At the core of Bespoke Lifestyles is the belief that people should be self-determining and have personal autonomy. We believe that this should be no different for someone with a disability and that it therefore makes sense that the person themselves is the one who should be in the driving seat of their own life. If the person with disability needs support with decision making, it makes sense that this support should be from those who are closest to them who know them best. This involves a shift in power from the traditional disability system where organisations are often the ones with the authority.
Michael Kendrick talks of the The Natural Authority of Families.
– The public generally recognises the primacy of families in terms of their responsibility for a person’s wellbeing. In this way, families have the authority to be highly engaged because they also tend to have greater responsibility for the wellbeing of their family members.
– Families have authority (normally) arising from knowing their family member the most fully and over the longest period of time. In this way they have the authority that arises from long term observation, insight and personal relationship.
– Families typically care about or love their relative more than would be true of others, however committed the others may be. Not only do families usually care more but they are also expected to care more.
– Families are often best positioned to see how everything, in its entirety, adds up in a person’s life. For this reason, they can often see the incongruences of different interventions.
CRUcial Times, July 1996.