LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Family and friends greeted a Sherman Oaks woman Tuesday for her 110th birthday, as she watched safely from behind the window of her retirement home.

Ruth Mendelson, who lives at The Village at Sherman Oaks, officially entered the ranks of an exclusive group — supercentenarian, a title reserved for those 110 years or older.

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(credit: CBS)

But because of the coronavirus outbreak, Mendelson’s birthday had to be modified to keep her safe. Mendelson’s family and friends brought signs; orange, pink and yellow tulips; and sang “happy birthday” to her from outside a window. Inside, a portrait of Mendelson was signed by her loved ones, and cupcakes in covered containers were waiting for her.

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“She was thrilled seeing her family and appreciated everyone’s efforts to make the day so special,” Zest Director Christina Spears said in a statement.

According to the Gerontology Research Group, there are only 27 living supercentenarians in the world, all of them female.

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Mendelson was born in 1910 in New York City, and married her childhood sweetheart in 1932. The couple married in 1932 and moved to Los Angeles five years later. Her son, Earl Bender, says longevity runs in their family — Mendelson’s mother and father lived to 101 and 92, respectively, and were married for 76 years, while her younger brother lived to 97 and a cousin until the age of 104.