A new regional grants program is funding upgrades in aged care facilities in Victoria.

The State Government announced the first recipients of its $200 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund this week, which will see $50 million made available per year over four years.

In west Victoria, Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital will receive $6.3 million to rebuild its aged care facility.

Chief executive Kevin Mills said the funds would be used to increase the four-bed wards to 18 single rooms with en-suites, with high and low care units located in the same building.

In Warrnambool, public residential aged care provider Lyndoch Living will receive close to $500,000 to replace the facility’s nurse call and duress alarm system.

In Central Victoria, the Creswick Aged Care Facility, run by Hepburn Health, will receive $2.83 million to upgrade its 30-bed facility and double the specialist dementia unit from six to 12 beds.

“What this news means is that people will be able to have updated living space, their own private space, a private bathroom and the communal living space will be more comfortable and up to date,” Hepburn Health board member Lesley Hewitt told The Courier.

“When people are making the decision to move from there homes into care perhaps looking at the physical facilities the choice might be to go elsewhere, so that might mean they’ve got to move further away from their family and friends.”

A new overhead patient lifting system, a new centralised activity space and improved access to the outside area will be part of the upgrades, due to be complete by mid 2020.