Michelle finds her perfect gig in aged care
Our new multi-site residential services manager for Alice Springs has spent a lifetime caring for others.
From nursing to mental health services, working with homeless and marginalised young people, drug and alcohol programs, suicide prevention in the construction industry, parenting programs and disability support – Michelle Caston has done it all.
But when she turned her hand to aged care, something clicked.
“Once I started doing aged care, I went, ‘Yeah, this is my gig; I love it!” Michelle says.
“I’m very blessed – I’ve got both my parents,” she says.
“My dad’s 86 and my mum’s 84 and they live in their own home and they’re independent. But one day they may need to go into care, so I want my parents to have the best care.
“When I work with people here, I want their day to be the best day it can be, as if that were my parent. Being part of that is really exciting.”
Michelle has responsibility for three ARRCS residential aged care homes in Alice Springs – Old Timers, Flynn Lodge, and Hetti Perkins Home for the Aged, which specialises in First Nations aged care.
While the job is no small feat, she is looking forward to helping to implement planned innovations at all three sites, as well as enjoying the fruits of recent innovations, including new landscaping at Old Timers and Flynn Lodge, and a review of the food service and menu at Hetti Perkins in collaboration with renowned Aboriginal chef Rayleen Brown.
“It’s a great organisation to work for – they’re really supportive of management and the team and I work with some really good people. I’m not sitting here doing it on my own.”
However, it’s seeing the difference she makes in people’s lives that means the most to Michelle.
“The joy you get out of it and the satisfaction, and you get to hear some amazing stories,” she says.
“Some people have had the most amazing lives. I’m in a very blessed and fortunate position to be able to do this kind of work.”
ARRCS provides residential aged care services across the Northern Territory.