Art of Aging: 104-year-old woman brings sunshine, smiles to senior residence

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Theresa McCann is 104 years young and she spreads love and encouragement while making her rounds at Virtua Health and Rehab Center in Berlin, New Jersey. (WPVI)

Theresa McCann is 104 years young. It's hard to call this force of nature "old" as she spreads love and encouragement while making her rounds at Virtua Health and Rehab Center in Berlin, New Jersey.

Theresa came to Virtua after an operation that that was tough mentally and physically. She especially relates to new arrivals.

"When they come here, they are frightened. Very. I was too. So I could talk of it by experience. They feel like they have somebody," she said.

"I can't tell you how good I feel to be around that lady. She smiles at you and it makes you feel wonderful," said resident, Barbara Ann Connor from Berlin.

And it's not just the residents who benefit from Theresa's attitude.

"To see her do that at 104-years-old is inspirational to all the residents here and actually the staff as well," said Laquisha Johnson, RN, Unit Manager.

"I just feel happy to have a good friend like that. I love her like she's my mom," said resident Norma King.

When she's not "making her rounds," Theresa is not idle - she knits afghans for little ones, doing it by feel. It's a part time activity, that she's been doing for 20 years.

"I can't see, so I use my finger. Of course it takes much longer, but I have nowhere to go, I got plenty of time. So you do something worthwhile and I've got a lot to give yet," she said.

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