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The Joan Lunden Interview (Page 1 of 3)

An Interview with Joan Lunden

Joan LundenJoan Lunden is a journalist, author, television host, motivational speaker and successful entrepreneur. She was the co-host of ABCís Good Morning America (GMA) from 1980 through 1997 and is the longest running host ever on early morning television. One of the most visible women in America, Lunden has graced the covers of more than 40 magazines and book covers. Her books include Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers; Joan Lundenís Healthy Living; Joan Lundenís Healthy Cooking; and Good Morning, Iím Joan Lunden. Joan recently sat down with Gary Barg, Editor-in-Chief, to talk about topics of importance to family caregivers, including why you should know your cholesterol numbers and partnering with your loved oneís physician.

Gary Barg: Itís a pleasure talking with you again. You were on our cover a few years ago and that was a lovely conversation, so I appreciate your time today.

Joan Lunden: Absolutely. Since that time, I have gotten so embedded in the space of caregiving and senior care, and obviously health care, but this new health campaign Iím working on is so perfect for caregivers. They are so much more at risk because of the stress and strain. Not just the physical and emotional strain of taking care of others, but theyíre just so overwhelmed by it that they really tend to take worse care of themselves. When you go to the site, CholesterolConversations.com, what I really was so impressed by was that they basically built a tutorial course for all of us to take to be better patients and to make better use of that little four to six minute time period, if youíre lucky, that you get at the doctorís office.

Gary Barg: The program is ďIt Takes 2,Ē but the truth is you as a caregiver are caring for at least two. When you go to the doctor for your loved one, youíre right to have your own tests done. You need to care for you, you need to care for your loved one and you need to partner with your physician. I think the idea of being able to have these conversations, as a family caregiver and as a health care professional on equal footing, is extremely important.

Joan Lunden: Itís interesting because we all kind of feel the same way, I think, about going to the doctor.

Itís like getting sent to the principalís office. Thereís a certain amount of unease to it. First of all, youíre afraid sometimes of what you might hear. Youíre afraid that you havenít been taking that great a care of yourself and, therefore, youíre not going to look good to them. And then you have to get in the paper gown and get up on top of the table with your feet dangling, so youíre not on top of your game. Therefore, those incredibly important conversations between patient and doctor, which sometimes only happen once a year, arenít as productive as they should be.

 

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