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‘I love it’

Devonshire’s Micki Fickler takes advantage of all her community offers

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July 19th, 2016
Devonshire community member Micki Fickler participates in a number of clubhouse activities, including the coloring club.

Devonshire community member Micki Fickler participates in a number of clubhouse activities, including the coloring club. Coloring is the latest trend for adults to stimulate creativity and reduce stress.

One of the joys of moving to Devonshire at PGA National, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens, is developing new friendships over cocktails in the Churchill Lounge or dinner in an elegantly appointed clubhouse restaurant.

Micki Fickler moved to Devonshire last October after nearly 20 years as a resident of Townhomes of Marlwood, where she led an active lifestyle filled with golf and tennis at PGA National. 

Used to consistently good health, when Micki experienced two accidents last year, she decided to research area retirement communities.

Devonshire’s layout of three residence buildings connected to a large central clubhouse by climate-controlled interior hallways made a lasting impression. 

“It was self-contained, covered, and connected,” she says.

And its designation as a life care community was especially important. 

When people move to Devonshire, they enter into a life care contract that guarantees them unlimited access to quality health care services at Chatsworth, the continuing care facility associated with Devonshire (the Residency Contract details any ancillary fees and how the monthly service fees of someone in independent living do not increase when he or she receives health care services provided by Chatsworth). 

Some years ago, following two hip replacements, Micki did her rehabilitation at Chatsworth, so she was familiar with the five-star rating its services have received.

Because Micki has no children and no family nearby, “Life care has absolutely given me peace of mind,” she says.

Her move has also given her something she didn’t expect. “I’m having such a good time!” she says “When people ask me how I like it, I say ‘I love it.’ I’m availing myself of what’s here, and I’m trying everything.”

Micki spends much of her day in Devonshire’s clubhouse. She takes fitness and yoga classes and works out on state-of-the-art equipment in the fitness center. 

She also attends meditation classes, the adult coloring class, and Comfort Zone, a discussion group facilitated by a social worker. Comfort Zone is a safe place for community members to share their feelings about life’s transitions. 

A psychotherapist, Micki volunteers her skills at two support groups outside of Devonshire.

Rich in life experiences

Micki came to her profession after several other endeavors. 

She studied fashion design and illustration in New York after high school and then did patent office drawings and architectural drafting. 

She spent two years in the Foreign Service doing code work in the embassy in Rome. 

As secretary to the editor and publisher of the Fort Lauderdale News, Micki also wrote the paper’s play and book reviews and edited its “Letters to the Editor.” In New York, she worked for Newhouse Newspapers. 

Next came marriage and a B.S. degree from Empire State College, a nontraditional state college that required papers instead of tests and gave credit for life experiences. Micki’s resumé was so rich with experiences that she graduated in two years.

Then she earned her M.S.W. at NYU, followed by coursework at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies. When she got her license, she went into private practice in New York City.

Micki is just one of the fascinating life stories at Devonshire, where every resident has an intriguing story to tell. 

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