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New Guinness Book of World Record for Oldest Person with Down Syndrome?

By September 25, 2008

One of the more prevalent myths about Down syndrome is that individual’s affected with Down syndrome die young. I think this article from the Waseca County News talking about 80 year old Bert Holbrook’s attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records lays this myth to rest.

Mr. Wanseca was raised at home and now lives in a care facility where his nurses heard that Peter Davison, the person that used to hold the title of the oldest person with Down syndrome, had died in 2007 at the age of 68. Knowing that Bert was born in 1929 (when the life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome was 9 years of age), his nurses suspected that Bert might just be the new record holder. With the permission of Mr. Holbrook’s 90 year old sister, they submitted his name and some medical records to the Guinness Book of World Records and are waiting to hear if he is the new record holder.

Do you think that Bert will get the record? Do you know of any other individuals with Down syndrome in their 60's, 70's or 80's?

January 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm
(1) Patricia Foley says:

As of Novemnber 2008 Bert was certified by Guiness Records as the oldest living male with Down Syndrome in the world. I would guess that there are others out there that old. It will be great to hear from and about them and their caretakers

January 5, 2009 at 1:59 pm
(2) Kathleen - Down syndrome guide says:

Hi Patricia – You beat me to it. I was updating my blog entry as you sent your comment! I also think that there are other individuals out there that are Mr. Holbrooks’s age (or greater) that just haven’t given any thought to being the oldest person with Down syndrome. It would be interesting to hear from some of them. Thanks for the update – Kathleen

January 16, 2009 at 2:49 am
(3) jackie heron says:

hi my sister wilma will be 64 in march 2009,she has downs syndrome and lives in a nursing home

January 27, 2009 at 10:30 pm
(4) keith hughson says:

i know a man with downs who bis 71 :)

February 2, 2009 at 11:13 am
(5) John says:

This is interesting as a couple of years ago I read a new copy of the Guiness book of world records which stated at the time the world record holder was in his mid 50′s. My uncle, who has Downs syndrone, lives in Florida, is 52 years old, his health is failing but he may still live another couple of years. Back in the 1960′s I visited a facility in massachusetts where about 1/4 of the residents had Downs Syndrome. The number was over 100. Most were over 40 and most were quite active. A few were in their 60′s. I Don’t know where Guiness gets its info from but I think their published numbers on longevity in various catagories show a lack of research.

March 8, 2009 at 6:55 pm
(6) Karen Hosking says:

Hi – my uncle turns 60 March 23 2009 – he is still going strong – a real character!!. He is currently living in a nursing home on the Gold Coast Australia

March 20, 2009 at 8:08 pm
(7) Susan Palmer says:

My uncle Tom is 68 years old he still lives at home with my mum(his sister) who is 83 and my dad 82 and she as cared for him for 60 years since their mother died.He may not be the oldest downs but I think my mum might be one of the longest carers,she has never had any help other than myself and he as gone every where they have gone he is still going strong and we love him to bits

March 24, 2009 at 1:18 pm
(8) heidi says:

My husband and I are guardian for a 68 year old male with downs in Iowa. Have always wondered who the oldest would be.

March 31, 2009 at 10:39 am
(9) Lanny Nilsson says:

My aunt is born March 29, 1934 and we just celebrated her 75th birthday. She lives in Sweden.

April 14, 2009 at 8:49 pm
(10) jane assey says:

My brother, Robbie, celbrates his 60th birthday on the 20th of April. He recently came to live with me, his sister, after living with his aunt Mamie who is 95 and recently broke her arm. He is healthy and happy, and I expect him to break all the records.

April 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm
(11) gloria says:

Well my aunt is going to be 72 still living

April 25, 2009 at 7:22 am
(12) Mr. K. Collins says:

I live in Weymouth Dorset, and my sister was born on the 15 December 1938 and is living in a care home, does she qualify for the Guiness Book of records?

April 27, 2009 at 11:37 pm
(13) Dayna Lafferty says:

My Uncle will be 62 on July 5, 2009. He has congestive heart failure and cataracts so bad he is almot blind. The doctors have stopped predicting his death due to him proving them wrong so many times. He’s a joy and a wonder to be around. I think everyone should spend time with Down Syndrome people. They brighten your day.

April 30, 2009 at 2:31 pm
(14) Kenneth Collins says:

Could you tell me if my sister Ann Collins born on the 15/12/1938 is the oldest women Downs Syndrome in Britain or the eldest in Dorset.

April 30, 2009 at 2:34 pm
(15) Kenneth John Collins says:

Could you tell me if my sister who waas born on the 15/12/1938 is the oldest woman with Downs Syndrome in Britain or if not would she be the oldest in Dorset.

May 4, 2009 at 7:05 am
(16) Göte Hamplin says:

My cousin died two days ago. He was born here in Sweden in 1940 and would have been 69 y o this year.

May 22, 2009 at 11:20 pm
(17) Adel says:

My uncle is still alive with down syndrome and he’s 56 this August.

May 27, 2009 at 2:46 pm
(18) Bekki says:

My son has Downs, he`s 2 in July…. Really nice to know there is so many people out there with Downs that have very long and wonderful lives. Keep it up. Big hugs & kisses. XXXX

May 28, 2009 at 6:37 am
(19) Matthew Wright says:

my great uncle is 68

June 3, 2009 at 10:31 am
(20) Kayelyn says:

My aunt is going on 68yrs old

June 8, 2009 at 7:36 pm
(21) Jon-Paul Carr says:

My Great Aunt who was born in 1925 in Wales and died in 2005 is perhaps the oldest female who lived with Down Syndrome. She was placed into what was then a Mental Asylum in the late 1940s (due to her mother dieing and her father not being able to cope with her) and remained their until the early 1990s when she moved into a lovely home. It was stated on her death certificate that she actual died from Down Syndrome – I hadn’t heard anything so ‘stupid’ in all my life as that being a cause of death! Anyway I have some lovely photographs of her as a child and likewise some really nice photographs of her as a ‘pensioner’ in the 1990s of holidays she went on (she went to Disneyworld in Paris for her 70th Birthday via the Channel Tunnel). She had a lovely funeral with all her carers attending and her friends from the home.

July 6, 2009 at 11:52 pm
(22) Bob47 says:

My friend Donald Lowry just celebrated his 72nd birthday. The kindest most gentle soul I have ever met.

July 8, 2009 at 8:15 am
(23) Antonio Albuquerque says:

Yes I do!
She is 74 years old!!!
Live in Santa Teresa , a little town at Espirito Santo`s State in Brazil
Her`s name is Olga Gums…

July 20, 2009 at 3:33 pm
(24) marie spillane says:

my aunt died on friday last 17th july 2009.She was 68 years old and had Downs Syndrome.I am just wondering was she one of the oldest in Ireland.She was very healthy up to the last 2 weeks

July 21, 2009 at 7:11 am
(25) Sharon Munday says:

My husbands Uncle is in his late 60,s and is living in a care home. He has Down Syndrome. I think that he may be 67 or 68. I will need to finds out for sure.
I will get back to you.

July 21, 2009 at 8:39 am
(26) Andy says:

We look after a gentleman here in S.Devon who has Downs Syndrome he’s 76

July 23, 2009 at 10:00 pm
(27) KIM COLE says:


July 23, 2009 at 10:05 pm
(28) KIM COLE says:


July 24, 2009 at 1:56 pm
(29) Nina Morrison says:

I have cared for many individuals over the past 31 years. I now care for a gentleman that will be 72 soon. Another lady was 69 and another male was 70 when they past away. Dementia entered their lives 5-8 years before they died. Their medical care and dental care was excellent. They had active lives, exercised and a very healthy diet. Nina

July 29, 2009 at 9:15 pm
(30) LaBella says:

I LOVE to hear these stories!!!!! I’ve always heard that people with Downs only live into theor 50′s. I decided to double check as I have a very beautiful, VERY smart (more like criminal genius,lol), & (thank GOD) VERY healthy 3 year old daughter with Downs. All I could do is cry when I read all your stories of people with Downs having such long lifespans. Thank you ALL for being so willing to share your stories. It brought me the greatest piece of mind. Thank you.

August 18, 2009 at 9:20 am
(31) fran Boyle says:

My sister, Madeline will be 68 in January and doing very well. She lives in an IRA and has very mild Alheimer’s.. It is so nice to hear that God’s special children are living long, happy lives.

September 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm
(32) Beth says:

I have a winner. A woman in Alabama. She is my mother’s neighbor’s sister. She is about 82 or 83 and she is now in a nursing home. She has downs but was always pretty high functioning. She is still going strong. I told my mother tonight she needs to tell our neighbor.

I just remember growing up that the sister (who lived with my neighbor’s family) would get picked u every morning by a bus to go to a center. She seemed happy and always involved in activities.

September 16, 2009 at 9:08 pm
(33) doris says:

I live in Arkansas, My aunt was just put in a nursing home today . It was very hard she is 65 with downs. She was diagnosed with dementia 2 years ago. My mom has took care of her for 10 years.She has out lived 9 siblings,her dad who died of lung disease. Her and her mom were in a tornado in 1984,that killed her mom and she survived.

September 20, 2009 at 11:42 pm
(34) Freida says:

My brother is 65 and has been in a nursing home for the past 2 years. Until then he lived at home and was very active. He has always been a joy and now brings happiness and hugs to all the workers.It is wonderful to see some of these ages and stories about these most special people.

September 28, 2009 at 12:22 pm
(35) Carole Lisson says:

My Aunt Jo just turned 66 this past Saturday. She is a blessing to all her meet her. Her dream is to meet Oprah. She lives in Magnolia, Arkansas with a caregiver but is now attending a day care program she loves for which we are grateful. Her Mom, Verbie Graney did a great deal toward advancing the care of the Mentally Handicapped in the state of Arkansas.

September 29, 2009 at 8:58 pm
(36) Erin says:

My uncle with Down’s Syndrome just turned 65. I’m a better person for having had him in my life! Happy Birthday Uncle Terry!

October 12, 2009 at 9:52 am
(37) Kay says:

Just lost a dear friend that had downs, Harmon Sample was 69 years young. What a wonderful person.

October 12, 2009 at 3:26 pm
(38) Debbie Flynn says:

My auntie was born on January 15th 1939 making her 70 years and 10 months old. Is she the eldest lady with Downs in this country please let me know.

October 20, 2009 at 4:06 pm
(39) Brenda Belgrove says:

I was interested in your comments re Down Syndrome ages, but you only mention males. My sister, a Down Syndrome, passed away on the 14 September 2009 aged 62 years, which makes me wonder if there are older Down Syndrome females around the world. My sister’s name was Christine Goymer and she was born in Coventry, Warwickshire, England and came to live with us in South Africa in 1972. She was a wonderful, loving person and will be sorely missed.

October 25, 2009 at 7:21 pm
(40) Charmelle says:

I am curator for my brother, Billy, who has Down Syndrome- He still lives with family- about 4 miles from me- I tend to his care as part of my main responsibilites to be considered EACH day- He will be 62 on Jan 30, 2009. He is doing well at home except for some failing vision BUT he still sees well enough to enjoy favorite DVD movies n he lives to color, crochet, n also CALCULATE with a hand held calculator MOST OF THE DAY as he searches thru catalogs- As far as talk of Down Syndrome persons getting Alzheimers by the time they reach their 50′s, that is not true of Billy- He is as playful, still sometimes foolish n wanting all the attention etc as he’s done since his early childhood- BUT- his mind is VERY SHARP- certainly NO signs of memory failing- In fact, we’ve noted (also family n friends remark)that since we began so much a few yrs ago to get him back to walking after he stopped walking completely- he seems so much MORE intelligent now- We believe the sharper focus n memory are due to our careful mostly NATURAL FROM SCRATCH diet – We make sure he is not taking in neurotoxic additives etc- We give him healthy food supplements too- He takes NO MEDS- It all adds up to his being alert with better focus while his memory has remained healthy- We keep his wheelchair for use when he’s not able to walk long distances but he makes sure we know he CAN WALK enough to be able to continue with his trips to WAL MART even if WE choose for him to be wheeled thru Wal Mart- He calls me his Wal Mart Girl- I make sure he has SPECIAL lighting for health reasons bc he doesn’t get outside every day- another reason for watching what he eats n takes- Another benefit from being dedicated to the healthy diet is that his sometimes protruding/hanging tongue which was noticeable many TIMES – BEFORE we began this focus on HALTING the downward spiraling (when he stopped walking) is NOT noticeable any more except for the occasional just sticking out the tongue quickly as some Down Syndrome people do- The Bigtime MOUTH OPEN with TONGUE Hanging OUT is NO LONGER there since we do so much to HELP his overall health- WHEN he stopped walking a few yrs ago n we began doing therapy with him…using a portable electric OxyCycle at home, then began healthy NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS n eliminating neurotoxic additives…focusing more on healthier DIET FROM SCRATCH n more- he then began to WALK AGAIN n be SO MUCH MORE ALERT n focused – SO MUCH an about-face/reverse of the downward spiraling – Soon family n friends noticed right away that he now IS MORE INTELLIGENT than he was when he was young- We can’t imagine life without Billy as he’s a joy MOST of the time but we LAUGH with him when we tell him that he can be a pain when he’s demanding ALL the attention when guests visit him n family- I truly believe that all we’ve done nutritionally for him has benefited his BRAIN more than the small am’t of physical therapy did for his muscles etc- I am convinced that this healthy approach helped him overall bc so many notice not only how well he moves about again but also how INTELLIGENT, ALERT n FOCUSED he is now WITHOUT the produding tongue so often that he had during earlier yrs- early yrs when he was at times appearing more DULL n UNFOCUSED so to speak n NOT so much BETTER focused as he is now-

October 28, 2009 at 9:34 pm
(41) Charmelle says:

Stand Corrected: Billy will be 62 on Jan 30, 2010 (as Jan 2009 is already past) :)

November 2, 2009 at 1:23 am
(42) Linda says:

I currently have been caring for a pt with down’s that is 73 year ol, a male.

November 4, 2009 at 4:43 pm
(43) Chance says:

I live outside of Waco, TX and I have an aunt that has down syndrome. She is at least 65 years old.

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