Former first lady Rosalynn Carter diagnosed with dementia, Carter family reveals

Rosalynn Carter, the former first lady, has been diagnosed with dementia. Her family made the announcement via The Carter Center Tuesday.

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

The announcement comes days after the Carters’ grandson gave an update on former President Jimmy Carter, 98.

US president Jimmy Carter with his wife Rosalynn Carter (born 1927). Jimmy’ Carter Jr. (born October 1, 1924). (Photo by: Universal History Archive/ Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The Carter Center revealed the reason Rosalynn’s diagnosis was being shared was to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, something the former first lady advocated for the majority of her life.

“Mrs. Carter has been the nation’s leading mental health advocate for much of her life,” the statement read. “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.”

PLAINS, GA – AUGUST 04: Former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter sits next to his wife, former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter while having dinner at the home of friend, Jill Stuckey and being interviewed by reporters on Saturday August 04, 2018 in Plains, GA. Born in Plains, GA, President Carter stayed in the town following his presidency. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Earlier this year the Carter family announced that after multiple hospital stays, Jimmy Carter ended medical intervention and would enter hospice.

Since the February 18 announcement, very few updates have been given about the former president’s health. However, one of the Carters’ grandchildren recently spoke to the media about their grandfather’s health.

Jason Carter described Jimmy’s health “as good as it can be.”

“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 said.

“They also know that they’re not in charge. Their faith is really grounding in this moment. In that way, it’s as good as it can be.”

Having wed in 1946, the Carters are the longest married presidential couple. They celebrated their 76th wedding anniversary on July 7, 2022. At 98 years old, Jimmy Carter is oldest former president and the longest-lived president.

May God bless Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter.