Joan London is a freelance writer and author of “Joan’s Journey: The Search for Senior Housing,” an article series chronicling her move into a retirement community. Since retiring in 2007 from a more than 30-year career in journalism and public relations, London spends much of her time traveling to and from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to visit her three children and four grandchildren in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. “Geminis love to travel,” says London.
During her numerous visits to the West Coast, London enjoys visiting 55 plus communities, independent senior citizen residences and continuum of care communities. Her goal is be familiar with the many options available to seniors, in order to make the right decision when she is ready to move. London looks forward to sharing her experiences and knowledge of senior living as a writer for SeniorHomes.com.
London’s dynamic career in mass communication began with her first job in Houston, TX, as a wire service copywriter. Using skills learned from her Radio/TV/Film Degree at the University of Houston, London became proficient at spewing news copy for radio disk jockeys to read five minutes before every hour.
London moved on to become a magazine copy editor and then came her big break as correspondent for the Houston Chronicle newspaper, with a specialty in medical, dental, social service and non-profit news coverage. Several years later, London joined Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, the second largest children’s hospital in the United States. She served as media relations director/hospital spokesperson, and ultimately as Communications Manager for 11 years.
In 1995, London moved to the Baltimore/Washington DC area be near her three children, who have since moved west. She enrolled in graduate school at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, where she earned a Master’s in Journalism and completed her doctoral studies in Mass Communication. She taught journalism and public relations at Towson University, Towson, MD, until 2007. London’s freelance writing credits include Omni, American Health, Health, Science, International Herald Tribune and Texas Medical Center News.
Another hat London wears is that of an Arthritis Foundation (AF) “Ambassador.” In nearly every state in the United States, the Arthritis Foundation appoints experienced, dedicated volunteers to serve as state and national “grass roots” advocates. This role is similar to lobbying without pay or agendas other than to seek more funding for arthritis research, education and training of rheumatologists.
London became a volunteer with the Gulf Coast Arthritis Foundation chapter more than 30 years ago, a few years after she developed rheumatoid arthritis. Since then she served on the board of directors of the Gulf Coast and Maryland AF chapters, served on the AF National Advocacy Task Force, given testimony to the US Congress to increase funding for arthritis research, and appeared on radio, television and at conferences as a spokesperson for the non-profit organization.
“This is my passion,” says London.” There are 54 million people in the United States living with more than 120 forms of potentially painful and debilitating arthritis. I believe every involved citizen can make a difference. I know I can.”
When not writing, traveling or working as a volunteer advocate, London enjoys surfing the Web, going to movies and most of all, spending time with her grandchildren. She also finds time to be a consumer advocate/expert witness for the Food and Drug Administration and the Maryland Governor’s Task Force on Chronic Illnesses and Related Diseases.
“I love being a senior,” says London. “We have so much flexibility and so many choices.”