Catch up with Natalie Horton - Craigieburn local and our much-loved admin assistant at Highlands Retirement Village.
How long have you worked at Highlands Retirement Village?
I’ve been working at Highlands for almost two years now.
How did you come across the role?
I was working at the Austin Repatriation Hospital in the ACAS Aged Care Assessment Team. I saw the role pop up on Seek and thought what an amazing opportunity to work closer to home and have more interaction with clients.
What are some of your daily activities?
Administration duties aside, I really enjoy interacting with our residents and helping them with any issues they may have with their villa or gardens, and making sure they get resolved.
What do you enjoy doing the most?
Definitely chatting to residents and learning about their experiences/interests and working with them to incorporate those things into their life in the village.
How would our residents describe you?
Hopefully helpful, pleasant, very approachable and a good communicator!
Why do you think people choose Highlands Retirement Village over others?
The location of the village is second to none. We’re within walking distance to a new medical centre with bulk-billing GPs, a library, Splash Aquatic and Leisure Centre, and shopping, dining and cinemas.
There’s also an aged care facility across the road which has been amazing as some of our residents have their partners there and have peace of mind knowing that they can remain so close by.
Within the village, we have such a fantastic range of facilities – a large Community Centre with medical consulting suites, gym, swimming pool, hair salon, media room, computer room, craft room, bar and a town hall for parties. Outside there is our bowling green, petanque pitch, outdoor exercise park, workshop and hobby garden. And residents have access to all of this.
Another thing that makes us difference is the amount of open space we have. Many retirement villages feel quite closed in with all the homes squeezed in. Inside our village, there is a lot of greenery and you’ll often see residents walking with their pets. Just outside of the village, they can walk to the nearby lake and Waterside Café.
What do you often hear from new residents after they have moved in?
They often comment about how friendly everyone is and how many activities there are for them to join in. There’s always something going on at Highlands!
What is the biggest change you’ve see in residents’ lives?
The new friendships they make, and also watching them come out of their shell and getting involved in new activities.
What’s the most popular resident activity? Why do you think it’s so popular?
Gentle exercises on a Monday morning and singing on a Friday afternoon. They are activities that meet our residents’ needs as they all get together and enjoy themselves.
Do you work full/part time? Does this allow you flexibility to do the things you need to do outside of work?
Yes, one of the attractive aspects of this role was the ability to fit in school runs and be home to participate in after school activities with the kids. Stockland are big proponents of flexible work arrangements.
We recently had Family Day at Highlands. How was that?
We had a great turn out, it was a beautiful sunny day and everyone enjoyed the food and activities, and most importantly, sharing time with family.
It’s clear the residents all love you. What’s the best gift they have given you?
The residents are wonderful, they are like my extended family. I have gained friendships, experience, knowledge and most importantly their respect. It’s such a joy to be able to work in a job that has allowed me to learn so much.