President Jimmy Carter Enters Hospice Care
The 39th president's most recent health update came from The Carter Center today.
The Carter Center announced today that President Jimmy Carter, who has been in and out of the hospital several times recently, has decided to "spend his remaining time at home with his family," choosing to receive in-home hospice care in lieu of additional medical care.
The philanthropic organization founded by the former president made the statement on Twitter on the afternoon of Feb. 18, 2023, adding that Carter, who turned 98 in October, has "the full support of his family and his medical team" and that he and his family have requested privacy for the time being. "[They are] grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers," it ended.
Hospice care focuses on comfort and quality of life over extreme medical intervention during a person's final stages of life. As described by The American Cancer Society, "The hospice philosophy accepts death as the final stage of life: it affirms life, but does not try to hasten or postpone death." That means that, when fighting a specific diagnosis, hospice caregivers treat the symptoms of a disease, rather than the disease itself.
Back in 2015, President Carter fought metastatic melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—and won, cancer-free in just four months.
The president's supporters sent their love to him and his family in response to the news on Twitter.
"Just reading this brought tears to my eyes. Bless him," one wrote.
"Godspeed Mr. President. Wishing peace to you & your family," said another.
"This is somber news to hear but I couldn’t be more grateful for President Carter’s service and the incredible role model he is. Thank you," ready a third.
When Carter left the White House in 1981, he dedicated much of his life to service, building houses with his own hands for Habitat for Humanity, helping to eradicate Guinea worm through the efforts of the Carter Center, and so much more.
In an interview with Parade in 2018, Carter credited staying busy with all of his humanitarian efforts as part of the secret to his longevity. "...having an occupation that's interesting to you and challenging and gratifying is very important. So Habitat [for Humanity] volunteers all have that characteristic, at least for the time that they're working on a house. We're doing something worthwhile."
The other part of it? Marrying the right person. "And I was lucky enough to do that," he said, referring to his wife of 76 years, Rosalynn Carter, 95.
Our thoughts are with the former president and first lady and the rest of their family during this difficult time.