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112-year-old Spaniard claims title of world’s oldest man

A Spaniard has become the oldest man in the world at the grand old age of 112 years and eight months.

112-year-old Spaniard claims title of world’s oldest man
Photo: http://gerontology.wikia.com/

Francisco Núñez Olivera who was born on December 13th 1904 in the village of Bienvenida in Badajoz, in the region of Extremadura, western Spain, claims the title from Yisrael Kristal, a holocaust survivor who died last week.

Francisco – known as Marchena – fathered four children, and has nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

He has been a widower since 1988 and his two sons have died but he lives with his eldest daughter, María Antonia, 81, and near his other daughter Milagros, 78.

READ: Want to know the secret to long life? Live in Spain

He put his longevity down to “good genes”, “hard work” and a varied diet of homegrown vegetables. He also enjoys a daily glass of red wine.

His brother Luis, who lives in Asturias, is 95 and his sister Jacoba, who also lives in Bienvenida, is 93.

“I worked in the fields all my life,” he told El Mundo last year.

His ID says he was born on September 13th 1904 but his daughter says he is actually three months younger and was born on December 13th.

He was ten years old when the First World War broke out and in the 1920s he fought against the Berbers in Morocco during the Rif War between Spain and its North African neighbour. 

His secret to such a long life, he says is “to work hard. To not be weak and stay in the house.”

His daughter added a few more reasons as to why her father may have lived such a long life, including “a gentle routine in a quiet village, being his own boss, not arguing with the family and enjoying the good life – that revolved around the field, his house and the village bar.”

He also has a varied diet despite not having had his own teeth for four decades.

His daily food consists of milk and madeleines (a light sponge cake) for breakfast with an Actimel. Meat, fish or stew for lunch, yoghurt for an afternoon snack and special cereal with milk for dinner.

He says he has enjoyed good health a kidney removed when he was 90, a cataract operation aged 98 and was hospitalized for a urinary infection when he was 108. He claims to have never broken a bone and to have perfect blood pressure.

While Francisco has the records to prove his age, they are not the originals – which were burned during the Spanish Civil War.

Spaniards have one of the highest life expectancies in the world, which is often attributed to the Mediterranean diet and traditional slower pace of life. 

READ MORE: Six Spanish secrets on how to live to the age of one hundred

Spain is also home to Europe's oldest woman, Ana Vela Rubio, who celebrated her 115th birthday last October.

But one Spaniard who lived to the ripe old age of 107 did so on a diet that consisted mainly of… red wine. 

The crown of the world's oldest human now goes to Jamaican Violet Brown, who was born on March 10th, 1900.

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Spain’s prosecutors file criminal complaint over virus care home death

Spanish prosecutors said Tuesday they have filed a criminal complaint against a Madrid care home doctor and its director over the Covid-related death of a resident, in the first such case in the capital region since the start of the pandemic

Spain's prosecutors file criminal complaint over virus care home death
Photo: AFP

Madrid's public prosecutor's office said the two women are suspected of manslaughter and denial of medical attention in relation to the death in March of a woman in her 80s who had just moved into the home.   

Madrid was one of the hardest-hit cities in Europe by the first wave of the pandemic, and the complaint is expected to be one of several alleging inadequate care at retirement homes during the period.

In a statement, the prosecutor's office said the doctor and the director of the home, who were not named, did not follow the protocol set up by the Madrid regional government for caring for residents during the pandemic.

The doctor “disregarded” the protocol and did not call a hospital about the woman, despite her worsening condition, until eight days after she began having breathing trouble.

“Despite her rapid transfer to hospital, she died the following day from cardiac arrest,” the statement said.

The care home's director “was aware of the patient's clinical situation (but) did nothing” to ensure she received health care during periods when the doctor was absent, notably on the weekend before her death, it added.   

Amnesty International warned earlier this month that conditions at elderly care homes in the Madrid region and in Catalonia remained “alarming” despite improvements.

In a sharply worded report, it said the “vast majority” of residents had not been properly cared for during the pandemic.

The measures put in place by both regions were “inefficient and inadequate” and violated the residents' rights, it said.   

Spain has been one of Europe's worst-hit countries, with the virus infecting more than 1.7 million people and causing over 48,000 deaths.

Close to half of that number are believed to be elderly people who died in homes, Amnesty said.

At the height of the first wave in March, Spanish soldiers helping to fight the pandemic found elderly patients in retirement homes abandoned and, in some cases, dead in their beds.

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