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The Devonshire lifestyle: Active and engaged

Created date

February 8th, 2016
Devonshire resident Ruth Dubrowin
Devonshire resident Ruth Dubrowin

Longevity and mental sharpness go hand in hand at Devonshire at PGA National, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens.

That’s no surprise considering the enviable list of amenities, the array of on-site activities, and the ample offerings of entertainment and special events.

Active and engaged in community life, some residents take up new interests like writing or painting. 

Studies show that learning something new, something that challenges the brain in different ways, stimulates new connections that help the brain stay sharp. 

Exercise does the same thing. 

Walking is built into Devonshire’s lifestyle. Because the community’s 65,000-square-foot central clubhouse connects to its three residence buildings via internal climate-controlled hallways, residents needn’t venture out in extreme heat or on cold or rainy days. 

Devonshire’s myriad activities and events take place just a comfortable stroll from residents’ beautifully appointed apartment homes. 

For example, Devonshire’s clubhouse fitness center boasts state-of-the-art equipment, fitness classes, and personal training. The community also offers an outdoor croquet court, putting green, and swimming pool.

And Devonshire’s corporate memberships at PGA National Resort & Spa let residents play golf and enjoy other privileges at the prestigious resort.

Warm, welcoming environment

Working the body and brain aren’t the only activities that keep a person healthy.  Socialization plays an important role because isolation can lead to depression. 

Socialization is Devonshire’s strong suit. Members warmly welcome new residents into the family atmosphere that permeates the community.

Devonshire is home to interesting people who’ve led exciting lives, so conversations tend to open new doors of knowledge and ideas.

People gather for lively pre-dinner banter in the clubhouse lounge, then continue the repartee over dinner at one of Devonshire’s five distinct clubhouse restaurants.

Games for the brain

You can find a game of bridge or mah-jongg somewhere at Devonshire every day of the week. 

Pearl Davidow, who moved from The Breakers 14 years ago, plays mah-jongg three times a week and has also taught the game. 

She grew up in a card-playing household. “My mother played mah-jongg constantly,” says Pearl. “Everybody can learn, but you may need to learn to use your brain in a different way. It’s like learning Russian and then learning to water-ski.” 

Even experienced players never stop learning, she adds, because the National Mah-jongg League changes the hands and rules of the game each year.  

Pearl’s neighbor Ruth Dubrowin believes bridge is the best brain game. A life master, she started Devonshire’s duplicate bridge games.

Ruth’s childhood home was an intergenerational, bridge-playing household. People played bridge at home then. Devonshire residents play in Devonshire’s card room, and Dining Services provides the refreshments.

Although regular bridge is a social activity, “Still, you have to be on your toes,” says Ruth. “Bridge has different levels of challenge. There’s a lot going on and there’s always something to learn.”

Duplicate bridge is a serious and increasingly popular game at Devonshire. 

“It’s just bridge played on a higher level,” she says. “We all play the same hands, and when a less-experienced player receives a [better] result than a so-called expert, the satisfaction is enormous.”

Bridge has benefited Ruth in some surprising ways. She first learned about Devonshire at a bridge table. 

Later, at a game in a PGA National community, her mention of moving to Devonshire led to the sale of her condo in Juno Beach’s Oak Harbor community. 

Like a cascade of dominoes, everything about Ruth’s move to Devonshire fell smoothly into place. “It signaled that I’d made the right decision,” she says.