Eva McConnell celebrating her 110th birthday in May
Eva McConnell from Mollymook in NSW, at age 110, has officially become Australia’s oldest person.
Celebrating her last birthday in May this year, Ms McConnell only began receiving in-home care from the NSW/ACT provider IRT less than three years ago and still lived alone in her own home until the age of 101.
The inspiring woman, who was still chopping wood at the age of 100, lived through an entire century to see both world wars and continues to add to her growing family tree of six children, 13 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren and 34 great-great-grandchildren.
“Good hard work and plain tucker,” Ms McConnell’s daughter, Nola West-Newman, said was the secret to her longevity. “She still has a good appetite.”
IRT believes that Ms McConnell is an example of the importance of preserving quality of life in older age and not just simply aiming to reach triple digits. Despite slowly losing her sight and hearing, she still enthusiastically enjoys listening to music on occasion, but misses being able to play cards.
IRT In-Home Care Manager, Debbie Turnbull said caring for Eva has provided an invaluable experience for staff.
“Eva’s quick wit, modern demeanour, dignified presence and amazing agility have been an inspiration to us all. We are very excited to be a part of Eva’s remarkable achievement, being Australia’s oldest person.” Ms Turnbull said.
La Trobe University Health Sciences Senior Lecturer, Dr John McCormack, who identifies and documents Australian centenarians and super-centenarians, said health and genetics have a lot to do with why some people live so long and others don’t.
“Usually there’s a history of longevity in the family, and usually the older you are the healthier you have been.”
Above: Eva McConnell with IRT In-Home Care staff
Above: Eva McConnell celebrating her 110th birthday in May this year