Any excuse to party

Boredom is simply unheard of at Devonshire

Created date

January 30th, 2020
Longtime friends Nancy DeSantis (left) and Shirley Alley enjoy the many entertainment options available to them as members of the Devonshire community.

Longtime friends Nancy DeSantis (left) and Shirley Alley enjoy the many entertainment options available to them as members of the Devonshire community. 

According to a recent study of more than 200 seniors and published in the Annals of Family Medicine, “Social contact may be as effective as physical activity in improving mood and quality of life.” The study goes on to report that “social participation and social support networks are paramount to long-term positive outcomes and psychological well-being for older people.”

At Devonshire at PGA National, community members enjoy numerous opportunities for social engagement.

“When it comes to socializing, there is truly something for everyone,” says Shirley Alley. “There’s no excuse to be bored. In fact, there are not enough hours in the day to enjoy everything there is to do here.”

Shirley’s neighbor Nancy DeSantis agrees.

“We celebrate every day,” she says. “The opportunities to enjoy time with neighbors, many who become like family, and the many forms of entertainment available to us is remarkable.”

Celebrating at home

Both Shirley and Nancy find that their ability to both entertain family and friends as well as to attend a wide variety of social gatherings is far greater than it was before their moves.

“We’ve discovered that entertaining has never been easier or more greatly enjoyed since moving to Devonshire,” says Nancy.

Each month, Nancy invites a group of friends to her apartment home for a monthly “Sip and Snacks” gathering. As her best friend, Shirley is always on hand to help with the details.

“I send out invitations and welcome friends to enjoy a small happy hour before enjoying dinner together,” she says. “It’s something we all enjoy.”

Nancy also enjoys hosting family members in her new Devonshire home, something she did prior to her move.

“This summer, my nephew, his wife, and their two children came for a visit,” she says. “It was my great-nephew’s thirteenth birthday while they were here. I love that I was able to give him a very special celebration. We enjoyed a delicious birthday dinner at the Cavendish, [one of Devonshire’s five on-site restaurants]. The wait staff surprised him with a birthday cake and we all sang ‘Happy Birthday.’ It was such a special day. He later told me, ‘Teta Nancy, when I get older I want to live at Devonshire too.”

Invitation to fun

In addition to hosting parties, Shirley and Nancy receive almost weekly invitations to a variety of events planned and hosted by their neighbors.

“Many of the larger, personal gatherings are held in the Stratford [Devonshire’s performing arts theater],” says Shirley. “We both recently attended a beautifully catered birthday party in the Stratford. One of the things that makes living at Devonshire so special is that every holiday, birthday, anniversary, and everything in between is given special attention. No small detail is overlooked. Our community loves to spend time together.”

Devonshire community members are also encouraged to gather in the popular lounge for impromptu celebrations and enjoy regularly scheduled entertainment. 

“The lounge is the premier gathering spot,” says Nancy. “It is a very social place to meet up with friends. Happy hours are held nightly as well as a variety of musical performances, including the monthly jazz concert. And whether you are part of a couple, or single like the two of us, it is a very welcoming place.”

Festive feasting

With five on-site restaurants, enjoying delicious meals together offers endless opportunities for social engagement. In addition to daily dining, monthly themed dinners provide community members with a chance to socialize while learning more about their shared cultures and traditions.

“These dinners are truly partnerships with our community members,” says Devonshire Executive Chef Joseph Marinelli. “There have been instances where I’ve been handed a treasured, generations-old recipe to use at the dinner. These are the things that make these nights so special.”

“Everyone looks forward to our themed dinners,” says Nina Gelich, chair of the culinary committee. “They are always a lot of fun and provide insight into a new dining experience that we might not otherwise enjoy.”

Expanding on the themed dinners, once a month, excluding the summer months, the dining services team plan a cabaret dinner alongside live entertainment. Recently, diners enjoyed an Italian dinner while listening to a vocalist from Italy perform Italian opera.

Every day is a holiday

And there’s nothing like a holiday to bring community members together. With the upcoming celebrations of Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter, staff and community members work together to honor and celebrate traditions. Community members are encouraged to invite family and friends to join in the festivities.

“As with everything at Devonshire, the staff go above and beyond to make each experience memorable and special,” says Artie Lynnworth. “It’s all a part of the spirit of Devonshire, sharing and caring with friends. This is such a happy place to live.”