Gertrude Weaver holds a flower given to her a day before her 116th birthday at Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation in Camden, Ark on July 3, 2014.
Danny Johnston / AP
By Olivia B. Waxman
April 2, 2015

Following the death on Wednesday of Misao Okawa, a 117-year-old who lived in Japan, the world’s new oldest person is an American.

The title now belongs to Gertrude Weaver, 116, who lives at Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation, a nursing home in Camden, Ark., according to the Gerontology Research Group.

“At the moment, Gertrude Weaver is the oldest living person for whom the Gerontology Research Group can adequately verify her age, with the three documentary conditions of original proof of birth, name change and recent identification having been met,” Robert Young, director of the group’s supercentenarians division, tells TIME.

In an interview with TIME last year after she was first recognized as the oldest-living American, Weaver said her secret to longevity is “kindness.”

“Treat people right and be nice to other people the way you want them to be nice to you,” she added. These days, she enjoys “wheelchair dancing,” manicures, Bible study and attending concerts by singers from schools and church groups.

On Wednesday, Weaver told the Associated Press she would like President Obama to attend her party for her 117th birthday on July 4.

Read next: Long Life Secrets from an (Almost) 115 Year Old Woman

Write to Olivia B. Waxman at olivia.waxman@time.com.

Read More From TIME

EDIT POST