Mt. Airy Residents Are Trying to Age in Place

A group of Mt. Airy residents are trying to re-create a sense of neighborhood in the Northwest.

The idea, Peter Javsicas says, is to grow old together, to live in a community of independent people who all share the same idea: aging in place, in peace.

"It would be nice to have a group of people who lived close together, a neighborhood that grows old together and supports each other," he said. "It could put off the day when you might have to seek some other option."

That idea is central to Mutual Mt. Airy, a new group that Javasicas and a group of Mt. Airy residents, his wife, Anne and neighbor Deborah Cooper, are trying to create.

According to a release from the group, Mutual Mt. Airy aims to provide residents with simple, grounded help when needed. It's initial list of proposed services include ride shares, pet and house sitting, helping with chores and potentially keeping handymen on retainer for the group.

The idea of "aging in place," of creating a group of like-minded older people who are committed to the somewhat nebulous idea of "supporting each other in aging," as Anne puts it, is one that can be tough to pin down.

"It has to be small enough to keep in touch with other, but big enough so people can really support each other," she said. "But then, if it gets too big, it won't be feasible."

The three have been drawing on their own experiences living in intentional neighborhoods, as well as examples set by other groups that aim to allow residents to live their lives without having to uproot to elder care facilities.

"There's a group in Boston called Beacon Hill Village and they are the national model for this kind of thing," he said. "There's a group in East Falls, too, [East Falls Village] that's doing this kind of thing."

According to Peter, the group has already met with members of My Way, Weavers Way, the New Courtland Foundation and Penns Village in preparation for it's first organizational meeting on Monday, Dec. 3.

The end result of this meeting, Cooper hopes, will be to have a group of people who are interested in the idea of living as a community of people committed to helping each other in their own homes. 

"The question for us is how can you offer mutual support to people in the place where they live," she said. "We want to attract individuals who want to be in a community."


Mutual Mt. Airy is holding its first planning meeting on Monday, Dec. 3 at Lovett Library. The meeting will begin at 6:45 p.m. and will feature light refreshments. For more information, contact Peter Javsicas at jpj7130@gmail.com or 215-247-0457


Mark Malfara December 03, 2012 at 02:45 PM
What a fantastic idea near of luck and support to you


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