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Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter diagnosed with dementia – read family statement

The Carter Center released a statement with the news

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter attend the 25th anniversary MusiCares 2015 Person Of The Year Gala honoring Bob Dylan at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 6, 2015
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad SanwariOnline News WriterNew York
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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."

Rosalynn Smith Carter, wife of American president Jimmy Carter. She grew up alongside the future president in Plains, Georgia and assisted him in running his family peanut farm. (circa 1970)© Getty Images
Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter was diagnosed with dementia

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. 

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"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."

Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, celebrate victory in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary election, New Hampshire, February 24, 1976© Getty Images
The Carter family released a statement

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."

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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.

Former President Jimmy Carter acknowledges applause during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts Monday July 26, 2004© Getty Images
Former president Jimmy Carter entered hospice care in February

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.

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"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. 

Portrait of married couple, former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter and former American President Jimmy Carter as they attend a Habitat for Humanity event, Detroit, Michigan, June 22, 2005© Getty Images
The 95-year-old has been an active mental health advocate since leaving office

"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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