Nélida Pérez (65 years old), Mr. Pérez Mora’s youngest daughter, narrated to the LongeviQuest team what her father’s daily life is like, as well as how he has coped with life since at least reaching centenarian age.
Juan Vicente Pérez Mora was born on 27 May 1909 and is a resident of the town of San Jose de Bolivar, Tachira, Venezuela. He is currently the longest-living man in the world (as of June 2023) at the age of 114.
Juan Vicente was always an early riser. He usually wakes up very early, at 7:00 AM, but usually stays in his bed until 8:00 AM until he has his breakfast (something light and not so heavy) to get energy for the day. Afterward, he prays to God, as his daughter has witnessed how he has always been a devoted believer in his faith and God. His family members also often encourage him with small physical exercises and massages before lunchtime to keep his bones flexible and maintain some level of independence. Before doing anything else, his daughters help him with his hygiene. That’s how Juan Vicente usually starts his day.
During his lunchtime, at 3:00 PM, he usually eats heavier dishes, but ones that are gentle on his stomach to avoid any discomfort or illness due to his age. His daughters make sure that he “eats everything”, but his favorites are cakes, hallacas (a traditional Venezuelan dish), mondongo (tripe soup), and avocado. Nélida shares how he used to be able to walk even in his centenarian years. He had assistance with a wheelchair, but he was always active. In the afternoons, he usually exercises using a support stick attached to the wall, which he can hold onto. It also serves as support when he gets up in the morning or lies down at night.
This is Mr. Pérez Mora’s afternoon routine, which only changes when visitors come or on his birthday. When this doesn’t happen, his routine revolves around religion, rest, and scheduled mealtimes. Although Juan Vicente doesn’t like to sleep during the day.
His dinner arrives at 5:30 PM and then he goes to bed to rest. Mr. Pérez Mora’s room is designed and equipped with different features to efficiently and easily meet his needs. There is a bell attached to the top of the bed, which he can ring to alert his family members and caregivers when he needs something. For personal hygiene, he has a small container where he can wash his feet, and he also has various medicines on his shelf in case of illness or minor discomfort.
María Elena (Juan Vicente’s daughter) told us that he is also checked and examined by a doctor in the town who visits him at his home periodically. She assures us that Juan Vicente can speak and pronounce words, but they are “hardly understandable.” Although his hearing ability is good, people have to speak loudly and close to his ear for him to understand well.
Nélida tells us that among the children, they take turns in taking care of him, and sometimes his grandchildren come to look after him or spend time with him. Nélida emphasized that it was thanks to her father’s hard work, love, responsibility, kindness, and patience toward his children and others that their family has always been filled with so much love and affection.
The LongeviQuest team deeply appreciates and thanks the family of Mr. Pérez Mora for allowing us to visit Mr. Juan Vicente Pérez at their home and spend time with his family.
Originally written in Spanish by Fabrizio Villatoro.