Carter Center Confirms Rosalynn Carter’s Dementia

The Carter Center said on Tuesday that Rosalynn Carter, who used to be the first lady, has been identified with dementia.

The Carter Center said in a statement, “She continues to live happily at home with her husband, enjoying spring in Plains, Georgia, and visits with family and friends.”

The Carter Center said it was making the news to reduce stigma because the first lady has been an advocate for mental health.

“We know, as she did more than 50 years ago, that stigma is often a barrier that keeps people and their families from getting the help they need,” the statement said. “We hope that telling the news about our family will lead to more important conversations around the country at dinner tables and in doctors’ offices.”

“As the founder of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, Mrs. Carter often said that there are only four types of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are caregivers now, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers,” The Carter Center said. “It’s clear that caregiving is a part of everyone’s life in our family, and we’re going through the joys and challenges of this journey.”

Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, responded on Rosalynn Carter’s health later on Tuesday.

She added that the Bidens had maintained contact with President Carter’s staff to let the family know that they were undoubtedly on their minds.

Jimmy Carter, the former president, has been receiving hospice care since February after a string of hospital stays.

jimmy and rosalynn carter
U.S. President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter at Inauguration Day Festivities, Washington, D.C., USA, Warren K. Leffler, January 20, 1977

With their 1946 wedding, the Carters hold the record for the longest-married presidential couple. Jimmy Carter, the longest-living former president in American history, is currently 98 years old.

Immediately following Jimmy Carter’s defeat to Ronald Reagan in the 1982 presidential election, he and Rosalynn Carter, then 95, launched The Carter Center in Georgia.

Since then, The Carter Center has developed into a well-known international humanitarian force that focuses on issues including public health and human rights. The Carters are particularly well-known for their extensive history of working with Habitat for Humanity to construct homes.

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