Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, wife of 39th President Jimmy Carter, has been diagnosed with dementia, the Carter Center announced Tuesday.
“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 Carter Center said in a statement.
It goes on to say that Mrs. Carter has been “the nation’s leading mental health advocate for much of her life,” adding that since her time as First Lady of Georgia through her years in the White House and later at the Carter Center, she has “urged improved access to care and decreased stigma about issues surrounding mental health.”
The announcement of 95-year-old Mrs. Carter’s condition comes a little more than two months after the Carter Center had announced that 98-year-old President Carter had entered hospice care at the couple’s Plains, Georgia home.
The Carters are known as much for their service post-Presidency as for their 1977-1981 term in office.
In 1984, the couple joined Habitat for Humanity, an organization founded in 1976 that in its first 40 years built more than 70,000 new homes for those in need and rehabbed or repaired another 100,000 homes through its disaster response and recovery efforts.
“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 Carter Center’s statement continues. “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.”