Former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter’s grandson said his grandparents remain together and in love, even as they face health challenges.
“They’re coming to the end, as we know,” Jason Carter, chairman of the Carter Center’s Board of Trustees and an attorney, told USA TODAY on Thursday.
The Carter Center, the longtime charity created by the former first couple, announced earlier this year that the former president was entering hospice care. In May, the Carter family revealed the former first lady was diagnosed with dementia
“He’s been in hospice now for several months, but they are happy,” Jason Carter said. “They are together. They are at home. They’re in love, and I don’t think anyone gets more than that. I mean, it’s a perfect situation for this time in their lives.”
And he added that despite his grandmother’s diagnosis, this time marks “a very joyful moment for her in a lot of ways.” Rosalynn Carter turned 96 last month.
“They’re both doing as well as can be expected,” Jason Carter said.
He added that his grandfather, whose 99th birthday falls on Oct. 1, faces “really significant physical challenges,” but he does spend time watching baseball games and seeing family “almost every day.”
The former president and President Joe Biden also “still communicate today on a relatively regular basis,” Jason Carter said, and the president has written to Jimmy Carter “just to let him know that he’s continuing to think about my grandfather, pray for him.”
Asked why he believes Jimmy Carter and the president remain close, Jason Carter explained that, of his grandfather’s nearly 99 years, “he really only spent eight in big-time elected office,” including his term as president and his term as the governor of Georgia.
“He has lived in Plains, Georgia, in the same house that he built in the 1950s. And their ability to stay grounded in who they are, despite all of the things that they’ve done in their life, is remarkable,” Jason Carter said. “And I think, frankly, Biden has that same kind of connection to who he was in, like simpler and more humble times despite having spent his entire life in Washington.”
Ahead of the former president’s birthday, The Carter Center is calling on the public to share messages and well wishes to be featured in a “digital mosaic for President Carter, his family, and communities around the world to enjoy,” The Carter Center shared in a news release. Individuals can share photos or wishes with The Carter Center or use the hashtag #JimmyCarter99 on social media.
“President Carter has dedicated his life to making the world a better place, and we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to send him love and to thank him for all he has done,” said Paige Alexander, chief executive officer at The Carter Center.