Satya Prema Naidu is busier than ever. She tutors high school science while immersing herself in a packed calendar of classes at our Classic Residences in East Brighton, Victoria.
We spoke with Satya about family, teaching and how life in a retirement village is helping her explore her creative passions.
“When I was working full-time as a teacher, I never had any time for anything except teaching and looking after my children. I have a son and a daughter.
Once I retired, I could focus on all the things I never had time for. I love creating, particularly painting and drawing. Classic Residences is one of the best places to explore my love of art.
After I retired in 2000, I began tutoring biology and psychology to year 11 and 12 Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) students. I’ve been teaching or tutoring for more than 50 years and have written 11 books on biology and general science for Oxford University Press.
My son, who lives nearby, is a pharmacist, and his 3 children are all studying medicine at Monash University. My daughter lives in Los Angeles with her husband, who's a nephrologist.
‘The residents of the village have been like family to me. Having that support makes you feel much happier. You never need to feel isolated.’
I moved here in 2012 with my husband, Dr Bhasker Naidu, a general practitioner and anaesthetist. Only 10 months after coming here, he was moved to high care due to his dementia. Sadly, he passed away in 2013. But I never feel lonely here. It's a wonderful place. Keeping busy makes me happy. I can't just sit at home and do nothing. I have always been a very active person.
In recent years, I’ve had stents put in my coronary artery, and I had breast cancer and then a knee operation. But despite my health troubles, I haven't let anything stop me. Whatever comes your way, you deal with it and get on with your life.
The residents of the village have been like family to me. Having that support makes you feel much happier, you never need to feel isolated.
When I was sick, I wasn't able to cook, so I'd ring and tell the chef what I wanted. Coming from India, I like spicy food, and the chef always made it for me, which was nice.
I enjoy village life because I'm constantly busy. I’ve been elected as a member of the Classic Residences committee for the past 5 years. I’m on the entertainment sub-committee and involved in organising speakers, concerts, bus trips and various events. Plus, I’m the editor of the village monthly newsletter.
There are about 30 activities you can do here, and you can join in with whichever ones you want. I’m actively involved in doing decoupage on Tuesdays and Fridays. I attend the choir group and belong to a memoir writing group and book club.
I knit and donate money to the Classic Knitter's group. I have recently joined the University of the Third Age, which holds fortnightly classes in the village. I also make jewellery, and if anyone needs anything repaired, I can help them with that. Everyone keeps telling me I should make it into a business, but it's not a business, it's a hobby.
We have a pool, so I do hydrotherapy. There's also a gym, a beautician and a kiosk. It's wonderful. There are so many things here keeping me busy doing what I love to do. The village is the perfect place to support my main goals in life, which are to be self-reliant, independent, and helpful to my fellow residents. And to lead a happy and active life. I look forward to it every day.
Learn more about Classic Residences, VIC.
For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550.
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