Ottrey Homes Aged Care is in the middle of upgrades, which have included the opening of The Mill End Cafe, catering for residents and community members.
The cafe, which serves a variety of hot and cold beverages, as well as baked goods and sandwiches, opened last Monday with residents and families already enjoying quality time in the relaxing environment.
Ottrey Homes’ chief executive and director of nursing Tracey Gemmill believed the cafe would provide the centre with an opportunity to connect residents and the broader Cobram community.
‘‘We opened our cafe as we want people to provide our residents with a comfortable place to enjoy a cafe experience,’’ she said.
‘‘On the eastern side of town, there are not many options for the elderly to safely get to within walking or scooter distance.
‘‘We want to provide a positive experience for the people who live here, to make them feel like they are not in an institution but on an outing and a part of the Cobram community.
‘‘This is why we are keen to encourage people, not only from Ottrey Homes, to come in and enjoy the cafe.’’
Ottrey Homes, a community-owned, not-for-profit organisation, was established in 1986.
The cafe is a way to generate further funding to help maintain and improve its lifestyle program.
The cafe also offers people the chance to see what Ottrey Homes is like, with staff more than happy to answer any questions about the facility.
As well as the new cafe, Ottrey Homes is increasing in size.
An extra 32 beds, the first of which are expected to be ready by the end of the year, takes the facility to 80.
The extension builds on the new $1.3million administration wing, which was self-funded with the help of Cobram Rotary Club.
The wing includes extra office space, staff training rooms and a physiotherapy room.
The upgrades are part of transitioning Ottrey Homes from a low-care facility, to one which provides a holistic aged care experience for all, including high-level care with nursing staff at the centre 24 hours a day, as well as access to appropriate specialist treatment.