Jimmy Carter Is No Longer Awake Every Day, His Grandson Says

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Over one year ago, on February 18, 2023, the Carter Center announced that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter would be entering hospice care.

At the time, the Carter Center said, "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." They did not specify why he was hospitalized.

To mark the one year of Carter in hospice, the Carter Center released a new statement, saying, "President Carter continues to be at home with his family. The family is pleased that his decision last year to enter hospice care has sparked so many family discussions across the country on an important subject."

In the year in which he has been in hospice care, there have been very few updates on his health (though President Joe Biden did reveal that Carter had asked him to deliver his eulogy), and he has only been seen in public once, at the funeral for his beloved wife, Rosalynn Carter; she passed away in November at the age of 96. In a statement at the time, Jimmy said, "Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished. She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me."

At the funeral service for Rosalynn, Jason Carter told the New York Times of his grandfather, Jimmy, "He’s coming to the end, and he's very, very physically diminished. But I think he was proud and happy that he was there for her till the very end, and he wasn’t going to miss this for anything." Carter was pictured at Rosalynn's funeral service in a wheelchair, and with a blanket covering his legs.

In a story about Carter spending a year in hospice, Jason told the Times, "He was really honored and glad that he made it to the end with my grandmother, and that was a real treasure for him. And I think that for whatever reason, the way he approaches this is from a place of enormous faith. And so he just believes that for whatever reason, God’s not done with him yet."

He added, "One of the things that has driven home to me is there are things about life and the spirit that you just can’t understand. I don’t know what it’s like for him right now. I don’t know what it’s like to face this moment in the way that he has been facing it for the last year. But that’s been liberating for me to know that I just don’t know. And that’s OK."

In May 2024, Jason offered another update on his grandfather, during the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy. "I said, 'Pawpaw, people ask me how you're doing, and I say, I don't know.' And he said, 'well, I don't know myself,'" Jason said, per the Georgia Recorder. "He's still there."

Jason added, "There's a part of this faith journey that is so important to him, and there's a part of that faith journey that you only can live at the very end. And I think he has been there in that space."

A month later, Jason spoke with Southern Living, saying there's "really been no change" in Carter's condition, saying his grandfather "experiencing the world as best he can as he continues through this process." He added that Carter is no longer awake every day.

Carter remains the nation's longest-living president; he turned 99 in October.

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