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Rosalynn Carter, wife of former president, diagnosed with dementia

 May 31, 2023

Rosalynn Carter, the former First Lady of the United States who served under President Jimmy Carter's administration, has been diagnosed with dementia, according to an announcement on Tuesday.

The news was made public by The Carter Center, a non-profit organization that Rosalynn Carter and her husband co-founded in 1982, following the end of President Carter's term in office, as reported by the Daily Caller.

The Center stated, "She continues to live happily at home with her husband enjoying spring in Plains (Georgia) and visits with loved ones," adding that "[w]e do not expect to comment further."

The statement did not provide details regarding the medical treatment, if any, that the 95-year-old former First Lady is currently receiving.

Former President Jimmy Carter, who is now 98 years old, has been under hospice care since Feb. 18. This type of care signifies a decision to forego additional medical interventions, with the individual choosing to remain at home until their passing.

Rosalynn Carter served as the First Lady of the United States from 1977 to 1981, during her husband's presidential term. Prior to that, she also served as the First Lady of Georgia from 1971 to 1975, during her husband's tenure as Governor of Georgia.

Post-White House Humanitarian Involvement

In the years since leaving the White House, Mrs. Carter has been actively involved in The Carter Center's various humanitarian efforts.

These efforts include a wide range of important causes, such as mental health advocacy, caregiving, early childhood immunization, human rights, and conflict resolution, as outlined on the organization's website.

One notable contribution by Rosalynn Carter was the establishment of the "Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers" in 1987.

This institution was founded with the aim of creating a strong network between individuals with illnesses and caregivers, thus providing essential support to those in need.

The Carter Center's statement acknowledged Mrs. Carter's contribution to caregiving through the institute. It further requested understanding and empathy for their family and everyone in the country performing the crucial role of a caregiver.

Messages of Support Pours in for Former First Lady

Following the announcement of the former first lady's health condition, there has been overwhelming support.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden have regularly contacted the Carter family's representatives to "ensure that their family knows they are certainly in the president and first lady's thoughts," according to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, USA Today reported.

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) said he is praying for the Carters "during these tough and tender times." He added, "So grateful for their continuing example of service and sacrifice."

Earlier this month, the couple's grandson, Jason Carter, told the Associated Press, "They're just meeting with family right now, but they're doing it in the best possible way: the two of them together at home."

He said, “They’ve been together 70-plus years. They also know that they’re not in charge; their faith is really grounding in this moment. In that way, it’s as good as it can be.”

The Carters hold the record for the longest-married presidential couple in the history of the United States. They have frequently referred to themselves as "full partners."