Georgia [US]: Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has entered hospice care at home in Plains, Georgia, CNN reported, citing the Carter Centre announcement.
In a statement released by the Centre, Jason Carter, the Carters’ grandson, said, ”She and (former) President Carter are spending time with each other and their family. The Carter family continues to ask for privacy and remains grateful for the outpouring of love and support.’
In May, the Centre announced that the former first lady was diagnosed with dementia. Other details about the 96-year-old’s health were not immediately provided on Friday. Former President Jimmy Carter, 99, began home hospice care in February after a series of short hospital stays.
‘What a blessing that they are together surrounded by family and love,’ first lady Jill Biden told CNN in a statement following the centre’s announcement on Friday.
The Carters, the longest-married US presidential couple, celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary in July. Rosalynn Carter, a humanitarian and mental health advocate, co-founded the Carter Centre with her husband in his post-presidency to advance world peace and health.
Together, they travelled to hotspots worldwide, including visits to Cuba, Sudan, and North Korea, monitoring elections and working to eradicate Guinea worm disease and other neglected tropical diseases. Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.
As a significant and influential figure in the White House during her husband’s presidency from 1977 to 1981, Rosalynn Carter played a key role in helping restore the nation’s trust in the presidency following the Watergate scandal, according to CNN.
Jill Stuckey, a longtime friend of the Carters, emphasised that the former president trusted his wife ‘above and beyond everybody else.’ Stuckey stated, ‘Rosalynn has always been that trusted adviser that is selfless. He knows for sure that she is looking out for others. And I don’t know if President Carter would have been president without Rosalynn.’
Despite their health challenges, the couple recently surprised attendees at the Plains Peanut Festival in Georgia ahead of the former president’s 99th birthday.
In his 2015 memoir, ‘A Full Life: Reflections at 90,’ Jimmy Carter celebrated the couple’s ‘good health’ and expressed eagerness and confidence for the future. However, he acknowledged being prepared for inevitable adversity.
Speaking about his grandparents’ health in an August People Magazine interview, Josh Carter reflected, ‘it’s clear we’re in the final chapter.’ He noted that Rosalynn Carter was cognizant of her diagnosis and had signed off on the press release announcing it. ‘She still knows who we are, for the most part – that we are family,’ he said, adding, ‘My grandmother is still able to form new memories,’ CNN reported.