Former first lady Rosalynn Carter enters hospice care

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has entered hospice care at home in Plains, Georgia, the Carter Center announced Friday.

“She and President Carter are spending time with each other and their family. The Carter family continues to ask for privacy and remains grateful for the outpouring of love and support,” Jason Carter, the Carters’ grandson, said in the statement released by the Center.

In May, the Center announced that the former first lady had been diagnosed with dementia. Additional details about the 96-year-old’s health were not immediately provided Friday. Former President Jimmy Carter, 99, began home hospice care in February after a series of short hospital stays.

“What a blessing that they are together surrounded by family and love,” first lady Dr. Jill Biden told CNN in a statement in the wake of the center’s announcement Friday.

The longest-married presidential couple, the Carters marked their 77th wedding anniversary in July. A humanitarian and mental health advocate, Rosalynn Carter founded the Carter Center with her husband in his post-presidency in hopes of advancing world peace and health.

Together, they traveled to hotspots around the world, including visits to Cuba, Sudan and North Korea, monitoring elections and working to eradicate Guinea worm disease and other neglected tropical diseases. Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

The former first lady was a significant and influential figure in the White House when her husband held office from 1977 to 1981, helping him try to restore the nation’s trust in the presidency as the country continued to recover from the Watergate scandal.

Jill Stuckey, a longtime friend of the Carters, previously told CNN that the former president trusted his wife “above and beyond everybody else.”

“Rosalynn has always been that trusted adviser that is selfless. He knows for sure that she is looking out for others. And I don’t know if President Carter would have been president without Rosalynn,” Stuckey said.

The couple recently made a surprise visit to the Plains Peanut Festival in Plains, Georgia, ahead of the former president’s 99th birthday.

In his 2015 memoir “A Full Life: Reflections at 90,” Jimmy Carter celebrated the couple’s “good health” and shared that they “look to the future with eagerness and confidence.” But, he said, they were also “prepared for inevitable adversity when it comes.”

Speaking on his grandparents’ health in a People Magazine interview published in August, Josh Carter reflected that “it’s clear we’re in the final chapter.”

Rosalynn Carter, he said at the time, was cognizant of her diagnosis and had signed off on the press release in which it was announced.

“She still knows who we are, for the most part – that we are family,” he told the magazine, adding: “My grandmother is still able to form new memories.”

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Shania Shelton, Paul LeBlanc and Stephen Collinson contributed to this report.

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at