Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has developed dementia

By Natalie Kruvant | Fact-checked by MDLinx staff
Published May 30, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • The Carter Center announced that former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has dementia.

  • Earlier this year, former President Jimmy Carter entered hospice care.

  • It is unclear when Rosalynn Carter first developed symptoms of dementia

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, 95, has dementia, according to an announcement made today by The Carter Center. This follows an announcement earlier this year that former President Jimmy Carter, 98, entered hospice care.[]

The former first lady is known for her work in ending the stigma around mental healthcare and for the development of The Carter Center, which was founded alongside Jimmy Carter in 1982.[]  

Only 40% of Americans say they would speak to a doctor about experiencing cognitive issues. But The Carter Center hopes Rosalynn Carter’s condition will change that.[]

“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 county,” The Carter Center said in a statement.[]

Rosalynn Carter was born in Plains, GA, and met the former President in 1945.[] It is unclear when the former First Lady developed dementia, but the statement did say she was still at home in Plains, GA. 

"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," continued The Carter Center statement.[]

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