THE oldest woman in Spanish history has now rung in her 115th birthday.
Ana Velez Rubio was originally born in Cordoba on October 30, 1901. During the 1940s she headed to Barcelona where she began to work as a dressmaker, and she has called the Catalan capital home ever since.
Although she currently takes up residence in the city’s La Verneda retirement home, she only moved into the home six years ago, at the ripe old age of 109. She has an 89-year-old daughter who lives nearby.
La Verneda Director David Gonzalez expressed his fondness and appreciation for the home’s oldest denizen. However, he pointed out that although Vela is “very special” to the staff, they don’t treat her any different than any of the other residents. He noted that Vela looks younger than her age and is in good physical condition.
Vela became the oldest ever Spaniard when she reached 114 years and 221 days earlier this year, taking the record from Maria Antonio Castro, an Andalucian who passed away two decades ago. Vela is in fact just one year shy of being the oldest person in Europe, with Italian Emma Morano being the bearer of that particular crown.
The European countries along the Mediterranean are generally known for their high life expectancies, something which is often attributed to their good weather, healthy diets, and more relaxed pace of life.