‘Staying away from toxic people’ is secret to longevity says world’s oldest person

Image of 115-year-old Maria Branyas Morera. Credit: [email protected]

Maria Branyas Morera, the world’s oldest person, from Olot in Girona, believes that the secret to longevity is ‘staying away from toxic people’.


Maria Branyas Morera will be 116 years old in just over four weeks. The resident of Catalonia in Spain is currently the world’s oldest known person. One secret to longevity is ‘staying away from toxic people’ insisted Maria.

Although born in the Californian city of San Francisco, this fascinating lady has lived in the Catalan region since returning with her parents in 1915. Sadly, her father passed away from pulmonary tuberculosis during the voyage home.

For the last 22 years, Maria has lived in the Residencia Santa Maria del Tura nursing home located in the Girona city of Olot. A statement from the home said about the upcoming birthday: “She is in good health and continues to be surprised and grateful for the attention that this anniversary has generated”.

They continued: “To celebrate this very special event we will have a small celebration behind closed doors in the residence in the coming days”.

With the assistance of her daughter, she regularly posts on her Twitter profile. “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”, read Maria’s first post of 2023. In her Twitter biography, the user claims to be ‘very old but not an idiot’.

Offering online advice to others, Maria attributed 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. I think longevity is also about being lucky. Luck and good genetics”.

Shortly after celebrating her 113th birthday in 2020, Maria contracted the coronavirus but incredibly shook it off within just a few days. She inherited the title of the world’s oldest person after Sister Andre, a French nun, passed away on January 17, aged 118.

In 1931, Maria married her Catalan husband Joan Moret. Posting on Twitter, she spoke of her ‘very bad memories’ of the Spanish Civil War. When the conflict broke out in 1936, Maria was 29. Joan died during the war, she explained, pointing out that he passed away while she was waiting for a priest.

“There was no phone. 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”, the world’s oldest person recalled, as reported by Sky News.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]