Johanniter Nederland acquired three wheelchair buses and put them at disposal to three care institutions in the Netherlands where their volunteers are also active.
In the Netherlands, the care for the elderly has changed a lot in the past years. The former ‘retirement homes’ no longer exist. Only people who need a certain degree of care are allowed into an institution. For the other elderly who stay at their own homes, the care is organised at home. That means that institutions have fewer residents, but with a higher demand for care. Therefore, care institutions offer more services like home care, day-care, meal service, protected living, hospice care and activities for their neighbourhood.
Talking to various institutions in their network, Johanniter Nederland learned that outing trips are an essential part of the quality of life for the residents of those institutions. Unfortunately, wheelchair transport is not available.
With a wheelchair bus, these outing trips could be possible. However, even though institutions are very interested in acquiring these buses, the regular cost and the maintenance of standard wheelchair buses are unaffordable for them. That’s why Johanniter Nederland took up the idea of operational leasing and searched for financing.
Free of charge, a wheelchair bus is provided for use to an institution, if they meet the conditions of committing to making intensive use of the bus with a minimum number of rides per week. Institutions are allowed to use the wheelchair bus only for outing trips which otherwise could not be realised.
Last December, 3 institutions received their wheelchair bus in festive events. Saint Nicholas as representative of Johanniter Nederland delivered the bus to residents, staff, volunteers and other interested parties. The buses were received enthusiastically and someinstitutions even had already planned outing trips on the next day. Additionally, more than enough volunteers applied to conduct the buses!
The spacious and modern design gives more freedom to anyone for whom it is difficult to leave the house and the Johanniter logo on the buses is a real eye-catcher. That means that the wheelchair buses also provide visibility and therefore brand awareness for Johanniter Nederland, similar to the operational vehicles of other JOIN members. This new service fully adds to the primary purpose of Johanniter Nederland, which is to enhance the quality of life of people in a vulnerable position.