Meet the Newest Oldest American and Learn Her Secrets
Posted on July 08, 2014
Updated 7/30/15 3:12pm | Alert1 pays tribute to Gertrude Weaver who died April 6, 2015.
Ms. Weaver’s inspiring legacy lives on as one of the oldest living persons.
Weaver, the newest oldest American and this week’s Alert1 accomplished senior!
On July 4th 2014,
Gertrude celebrated her 116th birthday.
She is now the oldest American as well as the second-oldest person in the world
and the 11th oldest
person of all time. Gertrude’s birthday was full of smiles and laughter as she
celebrated, received her title, and gave out her secrets to
longevity. Here at Alert1 medical alert
systems, we want to help you live a long life full of happiness like
Gertrude, the oldest person in the United States.
Who is the oldest person?
The Gerontology Research Group,
in consultation with the Guinness Book of World Records, keeps track of world-wide
super-centenarians. They have dug deep into the records to determine who
really the oldest living American is. There was close competition from recently
deceased 116 year old Jeralean Talley, who was born in 1899. Robert Young, the
senior consultant for Guinness, noted that “Normally, 116 would be old enough
to be the world’s oldest person. There’s kind of heavy competition at the
moment.” The oldest living person in the world is currently 117 year old Misao
Okawa of Japan, who is a mere 2 months older than Gertrude.
When was the oldest person born?
Gertrude Weaver was born in southwest Arkansas near Texas.
While Gertrude has no birth records, the 1900 Census lists Gertrude as being 2
years old. This puts her birth year as 1898, and she has always celebrated her
birthday on July 4th. Further confirmation of her age is in her
marriage certificate. She married at 17, and the certificate is dated 1915. She
and her husband had four children. Her remaining son is now 93, and her
granddaughter is 76.
How do you enjoy life after retirement?
Gertrude fills her time with fun
senior activities. She enjoys weekly manicures, Bible studies, and concerts
by local singers. She especially loves to wheelchair dance, and takes classes
three times a week. Even though she stays in her wheelchair, she has a lot of
fun exercising with dance. She also enjoys spending time with friends and her
granddaughter who all visit her regularly.
What are the secrets to longevity?
Gertrude defies her age. She does not suffer from any
chronic health conditions. When she was 104 she suffered from a broken hip, but
she went through rehabilitation and recovered from her injury. Gertrude’s story
demonstrates the importance of being getting the care you need quickly. We
recommend medical alert
systems so that you have 24/7 access to personalized help.
What are Gertrude’s secrets to long life? She does not drink
or smoke, and as she puts it, “I do my sleeping anytime.” But most importantly,
she says the secret is: “Kindness. Treat people right and be nice to other
people the way you want them to be nice to you. The Lord blessed me, I think,
because I’m good to my family and good to my children and grandchildren. And I
feed them.” Throughout her life,
Gertrude has been active in her faith, worked hard, and has given love and
kindness to everyone she meets.
A benefit of being kind to everyone is the love you receive
in return. Gertrude is regularly visited by her friends and her granddaughter
Gradie Welch. Gradie says that Gertrude “is a loving and compassionate
grandmother.” At her 4th of July birthday celebration she was lively, smiling and waving at
her friends and newly acquired fans.
How do you live to be 100?
According to TIME magazine, in the United Sates there are
about 1 per 5,000 centenarians, and 1 per 5 million super-centenarians. The
majority of centenarians are female. Why is this? One possibility is because of
the 2 X-chromosomes. Women have two X-chromosomes, while men only have one. The
extra genetic information provided by that X-chromosome may be the key to
How can you be like Gertrude? The first step is to have good
genes. Super-centenarians are often remarkably healthy, avoiding many
age-related diseases. Your propensity towards these diseases is inherited from
your family, which we unfortunately cannot control. Luckily, we know much more
about how to stave off the onset of disease with recent scientific
Some key tips to living longer: be
your bones healthy, and get
help fast when you have a medical emergency. Here at Alert1 medical alert
systems, our specialty is helping you get help fast when you need it. Gertrude
was able to get help after she broke her hip. Quick and effective treatment is
crucial. You can recover only if you can get help in the first place. Medical alert systems are
a perfect solution. Whether you are at home or on the go, you can get help at
the push of a button.
How do you live a long life?
Gertrude has obviously done things right. She is a great
inspiration to us all. Even at her age, she is still out and about, enjoying
life! When asked how it feels to be the oldest person in the United States
right now, Gertrude said, “I don’t know. I’ve never been this before.” That’s
the great thing about life: there are always new things to try! That could be
making new friends, achieving a weightlifting goal, or receiving a new title.
Take a page out of Gertrude’s book, and treat both yourself and others with
kindness. Gertrude recommends trying your best at everything: “Just do what you
can, and if we can’t, we can’t.”
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