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A View into the Carters’ Hospice Experience

Image of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter smiling, along with the hashtag #CandlesForCarter

This week marks six months that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has been on hospice care, as well as the 96th birthday of his wife, Rosalynn Carter, who has dementia. Hospice leaders gathered in New York to publicly thank the Carters for their leadership. Learn more about that event via the following links: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) press release Event recording  AP photo coverage    A Washington Post report this week provided some details of the Carter family experience of hospice care: As Rosalynn Carter turns 96 on Friday and Jimmy Carter nears 99, the couple continues to defy the odds. Despite serious health problems — Jimmy Carter entered hospice six months ago and Rosalynn has dementia — they still spend most days sitting beside each other in the living room of the bungalow they built in 1961 in Plains, Ga. Family and friends who see them say that they enjoy some surprisingly good days and that this summer they even went for a ride with the Secret Service to watch Fourth of July fireworks in their hometown. Jimmy Carter is often out of bed first, waiting in his recliner for his wife to emerge. “Rosalynn comes in the room and makes a beeline for this chair and bends over and kisses him,” said Jill Stuckey, a close friend. They spend many hours sitting side by side. … It was [former President Carter’s] unwillingness to leave Rosalynn home alone that led to his February decision to opt out of any more “medical intervention,” a close family member said. Jimmy Carter, who had survived melanoma that had spread to the brain as well as injuries from several falls, said he wouldn’t go to the hospital anymore. The full story is available on the Washington Post website.

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