Jimmy Carter’s grandson Josh Carter shared an update on the former president’s health amid his hospice care journey.
“It’s clear we’re in the final chapter,” Josh, 39, told People on Saturday, August 19. “He’s still fully Jimmy Carter. He’s just tired. I mean, he’s almost 99 years old, but he fully understands [how many well wishes he’s received] and has felt the love.”
Josh predicted that he would likely “lose my grandfather before my grandmother,” referring to Rosalynn Carter. “They are still holding hands … it’s just amazing,” he added.
The Carter Center announced in February that Jimmy, 98, had entered hospice care after “a series of short hospital stays.” At the time, it was revealed that Jimmy decided to “spend his remaining time at home with his family” and that “he has the full support of his family and his medical team.”
One month later, the Carter family publicly shared that Rosalynn, 96, was diagnosed with dementia and was living at home with her husband and family. “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,” the March statement read. “We hope sharing our family’s news will increase important conversations at kitchen tables and in doctor’s offices around the country.”
Josh noted on Saturday that Rosalynn “still knows who we are for the most part — that we are family,” and that she is “able to form new memories.” However, he acknowledged that it’s “gotta be hard” for Jimmy to see his wife struggle.
“But on the other hand, they’ve experienced everything that you can together,” Josh said. “I think the beautiful thing is that they are still together.”
Jimmy and Rosalynn tied the knot in 1946, making them the longest-married presidential couple in U.S. history. Their family has expanded with a total of 22 kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.
Earlier this year, Jimmy’s grandson Jason Carter spoke about his grandparents’ health in an interview with the Associated Press. “They’re just meeting with family right now, but they’re doing it the best possible way: the two of them together at home,” he shared in May.
Jason, 47, called the public’s support for Jimmy and Rosalynn during their respective health challenges a “blessing,” stating, “He is certainly getting to see the outpouring and it’s been gratifying to him for sure.”
According to Jason, Jimmy has enjoyed lots of ice cream in hospice care, particularly peanut butter ice cream. Jimmy was a peanut farmer growing up before he was elected the 39th President of the United States in 1977. He served until 1981, continuing his public service through various charitable efforts after leaving the White House.