Rosalynn Carter Is Suffering From Dementia

Former first lady has been a mental health advocate for much of her life
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2023 12:16 PM CDT
Family Shares That Rosalynn Carter Has Dementia
President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, lead their guests in dancing at the annual Congressional Christmas Ball at the White House in Washington, Dec. 13, 1978.   (AP Photo/Ira Schwarz, File)

The wife of former President Jimmy Carter is suffering from dementia, the Carter Center shared in a Tuesday statement. "She continues to live happily at home with her husband, enjoying spring in Plains [Georgia] and visits with loved ones," reads the statement, which notes the 95-year-old has been a "leading mental health advocate for much of her life." It continues:

  • "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. 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."

Carter founded the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers and noted that every person on Earth falls into one of four categories: "those who have been caregivers; those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers," per the statement. "The universality of caregiving is clear in our family, and we are experiencing the joy and the challenges of this journey." The family says no further comment will be made. (More Rosalynn Carter stories.)

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