Jeralean Talley, the oldest American and second oldest person in the world celebrated her 115th birthday on May 25 and said the "Lord's grace" was responsible for her long life.
Recent studies have highlighted that life expectancy has risen in the United States and Michigan resident Jeralean Talley is living proof of that. Talley, oldest person in America and second oldest in the world, celebrated her 115th birthday, May 25. So what's the secret of her long life?
"It's all in the good Lord's hands," Talley said, according to USA Today. "I asked Him, I said, 'You know my will and this is your will.' ... And so far my prayers have been answered and I'm satisfied."
Talley also provides evidence that staying away from alcohol and sipping a glass of wine can promote health benefits, leading to a longer life. According to media reports, she doesn't care much about drinking.
"I don't drink beer or whiskey. I might take a swallow of wine," she said.
Talley is a widow. Her husband died in 1988. She is taken care of by her 76-year-old daughter. Talley's age was verified by the Gerontolgy Research Group census data as the second oldest living person next to Misao Okawa, who is 116 years old.
Susannah Mushatt Jones is the second oldest person in American and the third oldest person in the world. She will also be celebrating her 115thbirthday in July this year.
Talley's knees occasionally hurt, her right hand shakes, she has a hard time hearing and her memory comes and goes. Despite this, it was astounding to see the 115-year-old woman motivated enough to take the 10-step climb to the waiting congregation during a service held in honor of her at the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church.
According to Peter Lichtenberg, director at Wayne State University's Institute of Gerontology, it is this motivation and determination of movement that is the key to longevity.
"One of the areas of research that we're getting really interested in as a field is how much movement people have - really just having your bodies in motion. It's not just 30 minutes of exercise and sit the rest of the day. It's moving around, being active," he said, according to Detroit Free Press.
In June last year, Jiroemon Kimura, born in the southern Japanese city of Kyotango, passed away in a local hospital after a long battle with pneumonia, Associated Press reported. He held the record of being the first man in history who lived to be 116 years old. Hence, if Okawa lives another year, he will break this record.