For aged-care facility residents like Joyce Olsen, the upgrade of Golden Squares aged-care precinct is an upgrade to her home.
The new development has created a multipurpose lifestyle area linking Golden Oaks and Carshalton House.
Ms Olsen, who turned 95 earlier this month, has been a resident at Carshalton House for 10 years.
"There is a lot of difference (from 10 years ago) but it is still our home. you walk in the door and it feels like home," she said.
"This (addition) is beautiful, we have been here for concerts which were good. It's nice but we will have to get used to it.
"But as long as our home is here, we'll be right."
Residents, their families and staff from both aged care services will be able to use the space, which includes a large screen for movies, cafe, reception, centralised office space and staff room.
A nine-bed area for residents needing higher level care has also been upgraded.
The upgrade marks the end of stage one of a $5.8 million upgrade to Bendigo Health's Golden Square paged-acre precinct which includes Golden Oaks, Carshalton House and Simplin House. It was opened on Thursday by minister for disability, ageing and carers Luke Donnellan.
"This very much improves the quality of offering from this facility for the elderly residents," Mr Donnellan said. "It's about giving them dignity, quality of care and great social opportunities.
"There is another stage to go. (That) next stage includes variations of bed types, more single beds to accommodate and improve occupancy rates.
"Older Victorians contribute so much to our community and they deserve the very best of care.
At the opening, Mr Donnellan also announced an extra $1 million for the state's nursing homes to buy equipment to help improve residents' quality of life.
The state's 178 public residential aged care services - including Bendigo's Golden Oaks, Carshalton House and Simpkin House - will each receive $5600 to buy equipment best suited to the needs of their residents.
"(Aged-care) facilities will be able to buy equipment to provide better care for the residents," Mr Donnellan said.
"It's small equipment grants that are about making it easier to provide quality care to residents."
Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards welcomed the new announcement.
"These upgrades are the first steps in making sure Bendigo families can access the highest quality public aged care for many generations to come," she said.
The overall upgrades to Bendigo Health's Golden Square aged care precinct and the nearby Simpkin House residential aged care service are worth almost $5.8 million.
Simpkin House, a specialist dementia service, will be upgraded with a lifestyle room and sensory garden, along with a new hair and beauty salon and activities room.
More to come
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