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People first

Jane Abrams values the ease and joy of forming friendships at Devonshire

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July 19th, 2016
A niche in Jane Abrams’ apartment home at Devonshire seems custom-made to display her treasured art piece by Mattie Berhang.

A niche in Jane Abrams’ apartment home at Devonshire seems custom-made to display her treasured art piece by Mattie Berhang.

Last spring, as Jane Abrams sat in the reception area of Devonshire at PGA National’s sales office, Jack Head, president of the community’s resident council, stopped in and told her why she should move to Erickson Living’s retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens.

“It’s the people,” he told her. 

“He was so right,” Jane says. “There’s a feeling about this place.”

A snowbird for many years, Jane had divided her time between her residences in Palm Beach and Baltimore, Md. Then she had a car accident, which required a lengthy rehabilitation.

That motivated her to move to an independent living community in West Palm Beach. She wanted a more secure environment in which assistance would be available should she ever need it. 

Last August, she moved again, to Devonshire. “I should have come here first,” she says. 

Love at first sight

It was love at first sight. Jane thought Devonshire’s 26 lush tropical acres were beautiful. And the apartment she toured, the one she lives in now, sported fresh paint and a kitchen makeover.

Her one-bedroom Ashley-style apartment home gives her a longer great room and additional wall space for her art pieces.

The community’s location is another advantage because Jane’s daughter lives nearby in BallenIsles. The two women go to dinner and take in a movie together every Wednesday.

Jane had downsized considerably for her previous move, giving much of her furniture and art to family members. “It’s so easy to live more simply,” she says. 

No couch potato, she’s rarely home. Jane takes yoga and three exercise classes a week, plays social bridge, watches movies in the community’s intimate theater, and attends Devonshire’s extensive entertainment programming. 

She’d been driving herself to Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Palm Beach Drama Works, and the opera. But now she’ll reserve her tickets through Devonshire’s activities department and will use its transportation to and from performances.

Jane has always led a full life, including years of world travel. With cousins, she visited Far Eastern destinations, including Indonesia and Nepal, and made multiple trips to China.

She also toured the South Pacific on her own. Starting at Equador, she visited The Galapago Islands, Easter Island, Tahiti, Figi, and New Zealand. 

In the high jungle of New Guinea, she linked with a travel group and explored villages along two rivers where every accommodation amounted to roughing it.

Following a milestone family birthday celebration earlier this year in Washington D.C., Jane celebrated at Devonshire with an outdoor cocktail party catered by the community’s Dining Services department. 

Had she hosted a smaller group, she would have celebrated in Devonshire’s private dining room, a lovely setting for special celebrations.

She was amazed that after living at Devonshire for such a short time, her guest list included 30 of her neighbors. It confirmed her thinking that the ability to make new friends is what she values most about Devonshire.

Also since her move, friends and family consistently comment on how well she looks. 

“If you feel comfortable and good inside yourself, you can’t hide it,” says Jane. “I feel at home here.”

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