Three new IVECO Daily vans have been commissioned by integratedliving Australia, a leading provider of support services for the elderly, and will travel to regional and rural areas throughout the country to make life a little easier for our older citizens.
Known as ‘Wellness Buses’ these vans are operated by registered nurses and Allied Health staff who deliver information to the community about integratedliving’s aged care services and how to access support.
Additionally the nurses conduct free wellness checks (blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels and blood sugars) on visitors to the bus, and demonstrate assistive products including fall detectors, medical alarms and ‘Find-Me’ watches.
The first of the Daily vans is already in service in Queensland and Northern New South Wales, with the other two to begin their duties soon throughout other areas of New South Wales along with Victoria and Tasmania.
The three buses are built on the Daily 50C21 platform, which features a market-leading 205 horsepower engine and IVECO’s 8-speed, Hi-Matic full automatic transmission.
These are vans that can still be driven on a passenger car licence even with their large 19.6m³ volume – the largest volume of any van in Australia – and this generous space was a big drawcard for integratedliving, according to CEO Catherine Daley.
"The size of the bus was important for us to be able to accommodate the full fit out required to make the experience comfortable for customers," Ms Daley said.
"Another criteria was that the vehicles are easy to drive. Given that there was going to be a wide range of people driving the vans, ease of operation was very important. With a powerful engine and full automatic transmission, the Daily is just like driving a car, with all the same features so transitioning from driving a standard size vehicle to the vans was very easy for our staff."
The vans are fully self-contained with generator, fridge, computer and printer, wifi internet and touchscreen television, making it easier for the organisation to deliver its services even in remote locations.
As the vans will spend extended periods on the road travelling between towns, safety was also a prime consideration for integratedliving.
The Daily is extensively equipped in this area with four airbags, ABS disc brakes with electronic stability control, anti-slip regulator and hillholder, while a reversing camera and buzzers make it easier to manoeuvre the big van. The vehicles also feature a lane departure warning system.
"Safety is always at the forefront of any project we embark on, especially when it involves both customers and staff. As well as the safety features of the vehicle, we installed an additional step and wheelchair access to make access as easy as possible," Ms Daley said.
"We have only had the first Wellness Bus on the road for a short time but feedback from the operators has been very positive. The people who come to visit are also surprised at how much room there is inside and think that it’s a great initiative to get information and services to people in non-metro areas."