Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady of the United States, has been diagnosed with dementia at the age of 95, according to a new statement released by the Carter Center.
The statement, which came from their homebase near Atlanta, Georgia, reads: "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."
It continued: "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."
It provided more in-depth analysis of the state of dementia diagnoses in the country and the stigma surrounding it, adding: "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."
The statement concluded with a note on the former First Lady's work in the field: "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. 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."
Rosalynn and husband Jimmy Carter, POTUS from 1977-1981, have been married for 77 years. They share four children, Jack, 75, James, 72, Donnel, 70, and Amy, 55, as well as 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The announcement comes more than three months after it was shared by the Carter Center that the 98-year-old former Georgia governor had entered hospice care.
"After a series of short hospital stays, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention," a statement released in February read.
"He has the full support of his family and his medical team. The Carter family asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers."
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