Joan Mount, formerly of Chestnut Hill, sits in the lobby of Cathedral Village, a continuing care retirement facility in Andorra. (Photo by Sue Ann Rybak)

by Sue Ann Rybak

When most people think of retirement they imagine themselves taking it easy – but not Joan Mount. A typical day for her begins around 7 a.m., and almost, every morning you can find her working out in her health club.

“I run two miles on the treadmill and then lift weights,” said Mount, 77, who worked at Chestnut Hill Hospital as a nursing director for 10 years.

Mount, who lives at Cathedral Village, said she is busier now than when she was working.

She said the typical idea of retirement “doesn’t exist” for her.

“When I retired from Chestnut Hill Hospital, I was 65 years old,” said Mount, a former Chestnut Hill resident. “But I didn’t like being retired, so I went to work for Johnson & Johnson.”

Mount worked as a senior safety associate in the Pharmaceutical Research and Development Department at the Johnson & Johnson Co. for seven years. After leaving Johnson & Johnson, she decided to move to Cathedral Village, where she is currently the president of the residents association.

“I am very happy here,” Mount said. “It has been a wonderful move for me. There is always something to do.”

Mount, however, has never been one to sit still. She confesses to working more hours now than when she worked full-time. Mount works as a docent at the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, where she is also a board member. In addition, she volunteers as a parish nurse at the First Presbyterian Church in Center City and as a membership volunteer at the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Nursing has always been her passion.

“People who are sick share things with you as a nurse that they often don’t share with even their own family,” said Mount, a registered nurse with 50 years of experience. “It’s a very humbling and rewarding experience.”

She said while being a nurse can be difficult and extremely demanding, the opportunity to listen and provide comfort and support to people when they are ill can be a very gratifying experience.

“There are many older people in the city who live alone and have no one to advocate for them,” Mount said.

She said many times they are seriously ill and overwhelmed with fear, and added that by listening and providing emotional support, she is able to alleviate some of their anxieties.

Mount said volunteering as a parish nurse allows her to make a difference in someone’s everyday life. And that’s something she never sees herself retiring from.

A previous version of this article erroneously stated that Joan Mount was a docent at the Philadelphia Art Museum.

  • Irene Walker

    Way to go, Joan! Keeping busy, helping others, keeps one young (at least at heart!
    God bless!