PLAINS, Ga. — UPDATE: Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter died on Nov. 19 at age 96. The former president and his family were by her side at the time of her death. Former President Jimmy Carter remains in hospice care.
The family of former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter provided an update on the couple’s health.
In an interview with People Magazine, Josh Carter, the couple’s grandson, said visits with his grandparents have changed since the recent health updates.
“My grandparents have always been the entertainers,” Josh Carter told People. “But now we’re kind of the ones having to entertain. It’s different, it’s just a different era.”
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Channel 2 Action News reported in February that the former president entered hospice care after deciding to spend his remaining time at home with his family instead of additional medical intervention.
“He’s still fully Jimmy Carter,” Josh Carter told People. “He’s just tired. I mean, he’s almost 99 years old, but he fully understands how many well wishes he’s received and has felt the love.”
Three months after the announcement, the Carter Center said Rosalynn Carter had been diagnosed with dementia.
“She still knows who we are, for the most part - that we are family,” Josh Carter told People. “My grandmother is still able to form new memories.”
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Channel 2′s Richard Elliot spoke one-on-one with the Carter Center’s CEO, Paige Alexander, about Rosalynn Carter’s legacy, especially her advocacy for mental health.
“Her issue has always been about destigmatizing mental health, and if COVID did one thing, it really explained to us all what mental health is about,” Alexander said at the time of the announcement. “It has brought this conversation into the mainstream, and that’s what today’s announcement is about as well, that people can have these conversations at the kitchen table with their doctors and not be afraid to recognize that there’s an importance in addressing mental health.”
Josh Carter told People that the Carter family has worked to be at peace with whatever comes next over the past several months.
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“It’s clear we’re in the final chapter,” Josh Carter told People. “Odds are I’m gonna lose my grandfather before my grandmother. He’s in hospice care and she’s not, and it’s just math.”
For now, the family is focused on showing their love and appreciation for the lives and opportunities the couple gave them.
President and Mrs. Carter are the longest-ever married presidential couple, having wed in 1946.
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