Yackandandah Health's two-wing building has 16 residential aged care rooms upstairs and 10 apartments for people of any ages downstairs.
This approach, known as the Yackandandah Model, challenges care services built around age segregation and aims to better unite aged care residents with the community.
"It's not a hospital and we have to stop managing [care facilities] as [hospitals]," Yackandandah Health chief executive Annette Nuck said.
"Being old is not an illness, so we're not treating it as one."
Ms Nuck said community consultation had identified the independence of residents as a priority.
"What we've created here are two homes where eight people will live in residential aged care, throwing the medical model out of the window," she said.
"We won't remove the ability for people to have a say if they're okay to do the tasks themselves.
"We'll provide excellent medical care as required, but we will give much more choice and independence for the people who live with us."