World’s oldest person, Maria Branyas Morera, advises staying away from ‘toxic people’
The world’s oldest person – a Spanish woman born in California – has recommended “staying away from toxic people”.
Maria Branyas Morera was born in San Francisco on 4 March 1907 – seven years before the start of World War One.
In just over a month, she will be 116.
Her parents decided to return to Spain in 1915 to settle in Catalonia but her father died from pulmonary tuberculosis towards the end of the voyage.
Ms Morera, whose Twitter biography says she is “very old but not an idiot”, has lived in the region ever since.
She has three children, 11 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.
In 2020, she fought off COVID within a few days after becoming infected a few weeks after celebrating her 113th birthday.
Her predecessor as the world’s oldest person, French nun Sister Andre, died at the age of 118 last week.
Ms Morera has lived in the same nursing home – Residència Santa María del Tura – for the last 22 years.
“She is in good health and continues to be surprised and grateful for the attention that this anniversary has generated,” the home said in a statement.
“To celebrate this very special event we will have a small celebration behind closed doors in the residence in the coming days.”
With the help of her daughter, Ms Morera shares advice on Twitter, attributing her longevity to “order, tranquillity, good connection with family and friends, contact with nature, emotional stability, no worries, no regrets, lots of positivity, and staying away from toxic people”.
She added: “I think longevity is also about being lucky. Luck and good genetics.”
Ms Morera said she had “very bad memories” of the Spanish Civil War, which broke out in 1936 when she was 29.
She married her husband, a Catalan doctor called Joan Moret, in 1931.
After waiting hours for the priest, the couple were told he had died.
“There was no phone,” she said on Twitter. “A car had to go down to Girona to look for an available chaplain.
“At that time, in the entire province of Girona, there must have been around 50 cars.”
On the first day of 2023, she tweeted: “Life is not eternal for anyone… At my age, a new year is a gift, a humble celebration, a new adventure, a beautiful journey, a moment of happiness. Let’s enjoy life together.”
(c) Sky News 2023: World’s oldest person, Maria Branyas Morera, advises staying away from ‘toxic people’