Family announced that former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has dementia


In a statement issued by the Carter Center on Tuesday, the family of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter announced that Mrs. Carter has dementia. The statement read: “The Carter family is sharing that former first lady Rosalynn Carter has dementia. She continues to live happily at home with her husband, enjoying spring in Plains and visits with loved ones. Mrs. Carter has been the nation’s leading mental health advocate for much of her life. First in the Georgia governor’s mansion, then in the White House, and later at The Carter Center, she urged improved access to care and decreased stigma about issues surrounding mental health.”

The former first lady is 95, and the statement did not say when she was given the diagnosis. The statement continued: “One in 10 older Americans have dementia, a condition that affects overall mental health. We recognize, as she did more than half a century ago, that stigma is often a barrier that keeps individuals and their families from seeking and getting much-needed support. We hope sharing our family’s news will increase important conversations at kitchen tables and in doctor’s offices around the country. The universality of caregiving is clear in our family, and we are experiencing the joy and the challenges of this journey. We do not expect to comment further and ask for understanding for our family and for everyone across the country serving in a caregiver role.”

In February, it was announced that former President Jimmy Carter, 98, was suspending medical care and receiving only end-of-life hospice care, tweeting at the time: “After a series of short hospital stays, former President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention.”

The Carters have been married since 1946. They have four children and more than two dozen grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins /

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