Jeanne Calment, a French woman, attained an incredible feat by living up to the age of 122, making her the world's oldest person ever recorded. Before her passing, she had a conversation with Jean-Marie Robine, an expert in demography who studies the connection between longevity and health.
Robine clarified that while chance played a significant role in Calment's longevity, there were still factors in her life that could have contributed to her ability to live for so long.
She was wealthy
According to Robine, Calment's upbringing in a well-to-do family in southern France was advantageous as she grew up in a pleasant environment. She was able to attend school until the age of 16, which was unusual for women in those days. Additionally, Calment received private lessons in art, dance, and cooking before she got married at the age of 20.
Robine also notes that Calment never had to work and had assistance at home, which reduced her stress levels. She didn't have to worry about cooking or shopping for her necessities as she always had someone to help her with these tasks.
She avoided smoking cigarettes
Robine explains that smoking was strictly prohibited for girls, particularly those in a bourgeois family, during the late 19th century when Calment was growing up in a small town in southern France. Nonetheless, Calment's husband offered her a cigarette shortly after their wedding. While she was thrilled to do something she had been forbidden to do, Calment didn't enjoy smoking and gave it up after the first try.
Strangely, Calment didn't smoke for the majority of her life. However, she began smoking again at the age of 112 while residing in a nursing home.
She had a great social life
Robine states that Calment had an abundance of free time and didn't have any obligations other than taking care of herself and participating in social activities. She enjoyed attending parties and making new acquaintances, and people would often organize balls in their homes, which she attended.
Additionally, Calment frequently traveled with her husband, including trips to Paris to witness the construction of the Eiffel Tower, which was a thrilling experience for her at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Robine acknowledges that even if Calment had passed away at the age of 119 or 120, it would have been remarkable, but she lived to be 122 years and a few extra days, which is truly exceptional.
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