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Long-Term Care Advocate Dr. Marion Finds Common Ground with the Dalai Lama and Tibet's Prime Minister in Exile

3in4 Need More

On Friday, July 15, universal principles of eldercare were affirmed by exiled Tibetan leaders and Dr. Marion Somers, the pre-eminent U.S. advocate for better long-term care. Dr. Marion was in Washington, D.C., representing the 3in4 Association on a national tour.

"It's amazing how similar our thinking is," says Dr. Marion. "Age-old and modern common sense are almost identical."

Speaking before tens of thousands in the nation's capital, the Dalai Lama called for "common sense" in all matters, whether political or personal. "Some part of the human brain usually develops common sense," he said. Then he added jovially, "In some authoritarian hard-liners, that part of the brain is missing."

Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, Prime Minister of the Tibetan government in exile, supplied details when interviewed by Dr. Marion. According to Buddhist tradition, "Old age and death are not pleasure but pain," said Rinpoche, "but if you understand the naturalness of this, then you may bear the pain more peacefully."

Dr. Marion observes that in the U.S. today, "too many of us are in denial about aging and death. We need to come to terms with that; then our golden years can be less distressing and more rewarding."

Rinpoche offered three keys to the good life in one's senior years:
* Take care of health,
* Maintain mental equilibrium, and
* Have an independent livelihood.

Through these practices, "a person can lead a good life," he said. But if you want something more, a meaningful life, then you need "one more addition, spirituality." That doesn't have to be Buddhism or any other religion, he emphasized.

Dr. Marion agrees on all points. The need for long-term care, due to physical or mental disability, can be postponed by "doing all you can to keep your body healthy and your mind active," she says. As for the Western equivalent of an independent livelihood, "we need to plan for the long-term care services we're likely to need." With the right planning, these services may be provided "in the home rather than a nursing home, maintaining one's independence."

As for spirituality, "that's a must in America too," she says. "We bear life better if we have that. It's an expansive outlook that can be cultivated by agnostics and atheists as well as Baptists and Buddhists."

The nation's capital was Dr. Marion's second stop on her "3in4 Need More" tour of America, sponsored by the nonprofit 3in4 Association. The campaign seeks to inform Americans that health insurance isn't enough. Millions need more: long-term care planning to cover longer-lasting illnesses and disabilities not covered by regular insurance or Medicare.

Video highlights of Dr. Marion's Washington visit, including segments on the Dalai Lama and Professor Rinpoche, are available at -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWESuTxEDbY 

More information about "3 in 4 Need More" is available at the campaign's website: www.3in4needmore.com 

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