I’m no spring chicken but compared to my mother-in-law who is 99, and barring unwelcome surprises, I’ve got a long way to go.
I’ve enjoyed a life virtually free from disease and filled with adventure and productivity. I’ve lived on two continents. I’ve worked as a teacher, attorney’s assistant, retail saleswoman, bi-lingual secretary at the UN, office manager, and director of planning at a university.
I’m in a pretty traditional marriage—most of the household chores fall to me. And though I haven’t raised children of my own, I have a lot of nieces and nephews I’ve cared for. I’ve always had the energy and stamina to do what was needed, usually with good cheer. I attribute much of this to my practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, which renews me and boosts my capacity each time I do it. Even after a chaotic day, I have found that my afternoon TM session fully calms and re-charges me for the evening’s responsibilities. What is new to me—and somewhat of a shock in its intensity—is the responsibility of taking care of a spirited elderly woman.
Like every segment of society, seniors are a population that has specific unique issues. In general, older people have increased health problems. They don’t bounce back from illness or surgery as quickly as younger people. They may have cognitive problems, sometimes intermittent and unpredictable, and need help with doctors’ appointments, prescriptions and insurance issues. If they become frail or incapacitated in some way, they need physical assistance for basic everyday tasks.
Studies indicate that, as one ages, one is likely have some or many of these twelve symptoms:
My mother-in-law, bless her heart, learned the TM technique forty years ago. Into her nineties, she was able to drive, paint, read, cook, take excursions into the nearest city to museums and restaurants, and actively participate in the lives of her grandchildren. My husband and I credit much of her longevity and continued health and well-being to the benefits of TM. Consider, for instance:
We also noticed that when Mother became distressed or confused, she could resort to closing her eyes and doing Transcendental Meditation. Immediately she would experience deep relaxation and afterward be back on an even keel. Tension would disappear from her posture and face.
For these reasons, many people—later in life than one would suspect—do accept the help that TM can give. My friend’s father has meditated regularly since the early 1970s and now, at the age of 96, is still healthy, in good humor, and drives his car! Inspired by his example, some other seniors in the community where he lives recently asked to be instructed in Transcendental Meditation. One said her pain decreased in the first few days of practice. And another said she experienced peace that had eluded her all her life.
Without describing the almost-sitcom level of antics that pervade our household, suffice it to say that the way my mother-in-law and I survive and thrive is very much due to the blessings of Transcendental Meditation.