New van gives aged-care residents freedom

The Matthew Flinders Home has been given a new vehicle that promises to give residents more freedom in their individual travels and movements.

The new disabled access vehicle can take the 68 permanent residents individually to appointments, the shops or on outings with their family more frequently.

Before the new vehicle was donated, residents would have to wait for a larger group to show interest to use the aged-care home’s bus.

Matthew Flinders Home resident, Peter May tested out the new van on Monday morning and said it was wonderful.

The 92-year-old ex sheep farmer said it would allow him to visit the Port Lincoln Men’s Shed more regularly. 

The vehicle was originally purchased to help transport local Rotary member Glenn Barnett.

After Mr Barnett’s death the club asked his widow Avriel if they could purchase the van. 

Port Lincoln Rotary Club director, Mike Munro said the vehicle belonged to the Barnett’s and it had come at a cost to the family to sell the vehicle.

“Glenn was a member of Rotary,” he said.

“We saw what it did for him and thought it would be of great benefit to the residents here.”

The Rotary club and the Port Lincoln Community Bank donated $10,000 each to purchase the vehicle for the home.

Matthew Flinders Home chief executive officer, Mike McKeown said the vehicle would give residents individual freedom.

“It will allow individuals to get out and about at anytime,” he said.

“What we take for granted, where we can go where ever we fancy, they can’t always do that.”

Port Lincoln Community Bank business manager, Phil Channon said donations were a part of what the local branch did.

“We recognise the ageing community and the community engagement this can give the residents,” he said.

“It will enable them to travel to appointments and engage with community activities.”