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The world’s longest living person

Jeanne Louise Calment, is the world’s longest living person who lived to be 122. She was born in France in 1875 and died in 1997 – witnessing the inventions of the aeroplane and the cinema.

Jean Calment came from a bourgeois family and never had to work. Her husband was a prosperous store owner who offered her a life of ease revolving around tennis, bicycling, swimming, roller skating, piano and opera. Later on, she lived mostly off the income from an apartment she owned.

Internationally, the whole world is fascinated with Calment for both her longevity and her vitality. Apparently she never did anything special to stay in good health. People who know her think the secret is her immunity to stress. She once said ‘If you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about it.’ She had an occasional glass of port and a diet rich in olive oil. She also recommended laughter as a recipe for her long life and joked that ‘God must have forgotten me.’

She recommended olive oil for her skin and also no more than a dab of make-up. She said ‘All my life I’ve put olive oil on my skin and then just a puff of powder. I could never wear mascara, I cried too often when I laughed.’

She also used to eat a lot of chocolate until her doctor persuaded her to give up sugary food at the age of 119. She quit smoking at that age as well, but her doctor thinks her self-restraint was due to pride rather than health as she was too blind to light up herself, and didn’t want to ask people to do it for her. She took up fencing lessons at the age of 85 and rode bicycle until 100.

What an incredible woman.

More info and images about Calment can be found here.


CQC Report 2016 Brighton And Hove Adult Services Living Wage UK Home Care Association