Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has been diagnosed with dementia, her family revealed Tuesday.
Rosalynn, 95, lives with her husband, former President Carter, 98, in Georgia. The Carter Center said it made the announcement out of respect for Rosalynn’s long career in mental health advocacy.
“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 and visits with loved ones,” the center wrote in a statement.
“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 statement continued.
Carter himself entered hospice care more than three months ago, but family members say he is still in good spirits. The family has not clarified the severity of Rosalynn’s dementia.
“As the founder of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, 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 center’s statement said.
They went on to ask for the public’s understanding and said they do not plan on offering further details about Rosalynn’s health.