Former first lady Rosalynn Carter dementia diagnosis announced

 May 31, 2023

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has been diagnosed with dementia, according to a statement from the Carter Center.

Rosalynn, the wife of former President Jimmy Carter, continues to live in her home with her husband who is under hospice care.

The statement

"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 Carter family wrote in a statement.

"Mrs. Carter often noted that there are only four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers; those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers. The universality of caregiving is clear in our family, and we are experiencing the joy and the challenges of this journey," the statement continued.

Her impact

"The Carters are the longest-married first couple in U.S. history. They have often called themselves 'full partners,'" USA Today wrote.

"Rosalynn Carter has continued her advocacy for mental health care at the Carter Center, the humanitarian organization the couple founded in the 1980s that's also behind global peace and health programs," it added.

"Dementia is a general diagnosis for a loss of cognitive functions, including memory, language and problem-solving, that are severe enough to interfere with daily life, according to the Alzheimer's Association," the BBC reported.

"Nearly one in three American seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, the association said," it added.

Carter on hospice

The first lady's diagnosis comes shortly after her husband's announcement that he would begin receiving hospice care and was not expected to live much longer. The former president is 98.

The oldest living president and first lady have continued to be involved in public life for decades following their four years in the White House from 1977-1981.

The first lady's diagnosis has saddened those who know her but loved ones are thankful for her long life and many years of committed service to the world.

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