Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has dementia and continues to live at home with her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, their family announced in a statement issued by the Carter Center on Tuesday.
The former first lady is 95, and the statement did not say when she was given the diagnosis. The former president has beenat the couple’s longtime home in Georgia since February.
“The Carter family is sharing that former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has dementia,” the Carter Center said. “She continues to live happily at home with her husband, enjoying spring in Plains and visits with loved ones.”
The Carter Center emphasized the former first lady’s advocacy for expanded mental health access and awareness, and expressed hope that news of the diagnosis will spur conversations among other Americans.
“One in 10 older Americans have dementia, a condition that affects overall mental health,” the center noted. “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 Carters have been married since 1946. They have four children and more than two dozen grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The former president, 98, remains in good spirits months after he began, his grandson last week.
“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,” Jason Carter said of the Carters.
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