Former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter, age 95, has been diagnosed with dementia, according to a statement released by the Carter Center, which said, “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 (Georgia) and visits with loved ones.”
About one-third of all people age 85 and older may have some form of dementia, according to the National Institute on Aging.
The former first lady’s husband, former President Jimmy Carter, age 98, began receiving hospice services at home in February after a series of short hospital stays. The former president was responsible for helping negotiate the Israel-Egypt peace treaty in 1978.
The couple are set to celebrate their 77th wedding anniversary this coming July.
“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 statement said.
“We hope sharing our family’s news will increase important conversations at kitchen tables and in doctors’ offices around the country.”
The former first lady, who founded the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, is famous for having said “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 statement continued.
“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.”