108-Year-Old Man Shares His Secret to Living a Long, Happy Life


I can’t even imagine what it is like to have lived 100 years. The breadth and depth of history you would have witnessed is just amazing.

A quick survey reveals that living an immortal or super-long life is on a lot of people’s minds. In just a few minutes, I have found everything from meditation, vegetarianism, to the coming singularity where humans and machines will merge as the key to an immortal or long-lived life.

All of that sounds really fun and enlightening and possibly Battlestar Galactica-ish. One man in Canada claims to have found a much better solution to the question of a long life.

“I didn’t behave myself for a few years there,” Esmond Allcock said. “But then I got a really good wife.”

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Allcock knows what he is talking about. He has just celebrated his 108th birthday, making him one of the oldest living Canadian men. That is a bit above living 100 years, and I sure am impressed.

Allcock claims that it was the love of his wife that allowed him to have such a long life. She passed away seven years ago after 72 years of marriage.

“My wife Helen and I never had a serious fight,” he said. “She cured me of all my bad habits and was the reason I have lived such a long life.”

After Helen passed away, he stayed in their shared home for a bit before moving into the Kerrobert Health Center. It is here where he was thrown a 108th birthday party.

“Oh they nearly drove me nuts. They probably took 100 pictures of me,” Allcock said.

His son Dale Allcock was not able to be there but confirms that the health center is a good fit for his dad. “We Facetime every day on his iPad and you can really tell how happy he is, and they treat him like gold in there.”

And how good is this man’s life? He has 38 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren.

And what about his claim that a good wife makes you live a long, healthy life? Well, medical science and psychology have both long known that people who are happy, joyful, and have loving support live happier and healthier lives.

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This may just be a placebo, but placebos — our beliefs in things and how they impact our life — is an important part of our healing. Allcock is not wrong when he says a good wife made him healthy and strong.

Beyond the placebo effect, having someone to care about and to care about us, someone who insists we take care of ourselves, can also have deep impacts on our life.

A Harvard study suggested that, in fact, happily married men do in fact live better, longer lives. The same study, though, showed it’s not the same for women who are married. They tend to live longer if they avoid men altogether.

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