Successful Aging: Live Longer



People want to live longer so they delay the aging process. The oldest person to ever live died from 1875 to 1997. Jeanne Calment of France lived a life span of 122 years and 164 days. Daniel J. Levitin (2020) in his book, "Successful Aging" mentioned that she did not have any remarkable diet, exercise routine, or other lifestyle details and, in fact, she enjoyed desserts and smoked two cigarettes a day until she turned 117 years old (313). It is remarkable but not as outstanding as the jellyfish and the hydras that can live forever. And that is if they can avoid predators and accidents. 

The process of aging remain unsupported by younger members of society. The lack of support has resulted in stereotypes. And according to Dionigi, R. A. (2015), "stereotypes about a particular group play a powerful role in shaping how we think about and interact with individuals, as well as how individuals within the stereotyped group see themselves ...Stereotypes of aging include assumptions and generalizations about how people at or over a certain age should behave, and what they are likely to experience, without regard for individual differences or unique circumstances. Stereotypes of aging in contemporary culture, particularly in North America, are primarily negative, depicting later life as a time of ill health, loneliness, dependency, and poor physical and mental functioning. However, stereotypes of aging can also be positive (e.g., healthy, wealthy, and wise) or neutral. They are continually changing over time and across contexts. Views of old age, and the perceptions older adults hold of themselves, are complex, multidimensional, and dynamic. In other words, stereotypes of aging are social constructs that are culturally and historically situated, as well as individually interpreted" (1). Stereotypes are not always true. To make matters worse, they have an adverse effect on how policies are being shaped. 

There are many reasons why people would want to retard the aging process. A person might choose drugs like resveratrol and Chloromycetin so they can be alive to play with their grandchildren while another person might choose to fast to prevent going to the nursing home. Levitin (2020) found that metformin is one of the oldest and most widely prescribed drugs many doctors feel safe prescribing for the off-label use for retarding aging (339). And he also mentions that the most famous anti-aging product on the market is NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). It is produced in the brain and our levels of NAD+ decline with age but fasting increases naturally produced levels. 

I also googled "the oldest person to ever live" and found that another French lady, Lucille Randon is a second runner-up. She lived from 1904-2023 and died at the age of 118 days and 340 days. Now, I don't know what these French women do but somehow, they live longer. It is evident that one's socioeconomic status can affect whether they live longer or not. And policies play a huge role in our lives and everyone deserves to live longer and enjoy good quality of life like Jeanne Calment and Lucile Randon. But now that you are alive, fast, eat smart, exercise, and continue making an impact. 


Levitin, D. J. (2020). Successful Aging. Penguin Random House Canada Limited.

Dionigi, R. A. (2015). Stereotypes of Aging: Their Effects on the Health of Older Adults. Journal of Geriatrics, 1(1), 1- 9.