The woman, named Huguette, who lives by herself in the southern French town of Saint-Antoine-de Breuilh in Dordogne, was about to use the toilet when she slipped and fell in her bathtub.
Unable to move or reach the emergency caller she’d left on the washbasin, the pensioner survived by drinking water from the bath tap.
Nobody was aware of her ordeal but luckily for Huguette, her local postman had noticed something strange about her house.
“I rang the bell but there was no answer. I found it strange because the front door and the window shutters were wide open,” Silvette Villaud told local daily Sud-Ouest.
Although the enquiring postal worker took the matter no further, she returned three days later with more post and further doubts.
She noticed the windows and front entrance were still open and the mail was piling up in the letter box.
“I said to myself ‘That’s enough, there’s a problem here’”.
“I hadn’t done that route for very long but I knew an elderly woman lived there, so I went to the Town Hall to alert them,” Villaud explained.
Cristian Gallot, mayor of Saint-Antoine-de Breuilh, decided to investigate Huguette’s disappearance himself, soon finding a neighbour with a set of spare keys for the old woman’s house.
“I was shocked by how clear her voice sounded,” Gallot said about finding the pensioner lying in the bathtub, exhausted but lucid.
Despite her famished state, Huguette only asked the firemen who helped her up for a glass of milk with sugar.
She is also said to have held onto her sense of humour, telling a local magistrate she “had learnt her lesson” with regard to carrying the emergency caller at all times.
“We forget about old people too often,” Villaud concluded.
“I’m proud I did what I did. Who knows what would’ve happened otherwise?”