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123-year-old man may be oldest man alive: Is living to 123 a blessing or curse?

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An 123-year-old man could be the oldest person alive, but without verification no one knows for sure. While living to 123 might seem like a dream to some, but is it really all that it's cracked up to be? According to USA Today on Aug. 14, Since Carmelo Flores Laura was born 123 years ago, there would be no birth certificate for him because Bolivia didn't issue birth certificates until about 1940.

Without any proof this elderly gentleman cannot get into the world records as the oldest living person. He would have beat the record that was set in 1997 by a woman in France, her name was Jeanne Calment, her age was verified at 122-years-old. At 123, Carmelo doesn't really do too much and his memory isn't that great today. The director of Bolivia's civil registrar, Eugenio Condori, did produce the registry that lists Carmelo Flores' birthdate as July 16, 1890. As far as the Guinness Book of Records goes, a spokesperson was not aware of anyone putting in a claim for Flores to be considered for their records.

Flores has outlived his wife, who he misses very much and his outlived all but one of his children, which makes him somewhat lonely. He lives in a little village called Frasquia, which is home to about a dozen houses and it is a two-hour walk to the nearest road. Flores' home is a straw-roofed dirt-floor hut and this isolated hamlet that he calls home is near Lake Titicaca. Most of his grandchildren, he has 40 of them, and his great grandchildren have moved away.

His grandson reports that Flores fought in the Chaco war in 1933, but Flores vaguely remembers this as his age has caught up with him and his memory isn't all that it used to be. If he really is 123, which his grandson says he is, that's a long time to live. It has to be hard to see your wife and kids die of old age while you're still hanging in there. While all those years alive and all the history that 123-year-old man would be privy too is amazing, but being alone for so long because you've outlived most everyone is a consequence that seems a bit too harsh.

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