Be kind to live long, world's oldest woman says from Arkansas

Wed Apr 1, 2015 7:18pm EDT
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By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) - The world's oldest person, 116-year-old Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas, believes the key to longevity is treating other people kindly.

Weaver, born on July 4, 1898, lives at a senior care facility in Camden Arkansas, where she exercises in her wheelchair three times a week and eats three meals a day at the facility's dining room.

"I treat everyone the way I want to be treated," Weaver told reporters on her 116th birthday when she received a letter from President Barack Obama. She is the world's oldest person according to the Gerontology Research Group of Los Angeles.

The daughter of sharecroppers was born in Arkansas near the Texas border and worked as a domestic helper.

After retiring, she lived with her granddaughter and moved to Silver Oaks Health & Rehabilitation Center in 2009 when her granddaughter had health problems, the facility's administrator Kathy Langley said.

"She's an absolutely amazing lady," Langley said.

Weaver's 93-year-old son visits on a regular basis.

"She said she has been blessed with a long and healthy life because of the way she has treated others," Langley said.   Continued...

Gertrude Weaver is pictured Camden, Arkansas in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters April 1, 2015. With the death of Misao Okawa in Japan April 1, 2015, Weaver, at 116 years old, became the world's oldest person.  REUTERS/Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Facility/Handout