The former president’s grandson updated people on his health status, noting that the final moment is coming.
Former President Jimmy Carter is reportedly reaching the “final chapter” in his life, the grandson of Carter told PEOPLE on Saturday. The update comes after Carter revealed he has opted to receive hospice care at home after several hospital stays in recent years.
“He’s still fully Jimmy Carter,” Josh Carter told the outlet. “I mean he’s almost 99 years old, but he fully understands (how many well wishes he’s received) and has felt the love.”
“They are still holding hands … it’s just amazing,” The grandson of former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn said.
— CBS News Texas (@CBSNewsTexas) August 20, 2023
Carter also detailed how his grandmother Rosalynn Carter is also battling dementia, cognizant of the diagnosis and still able to give input. CBS News notes that she signed off on the initial memo back in May when The Carter Center released a statement addressing the situation.
“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,” the statement says. “He has the full support of his family and his medical team. The Carter family asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers.”
“They are still holding hands … it’s just amazing,” Josh Carter added, detailing the couple’s marriage. “They’ve experienced everything that you can together. I think the beautiful thing is that they are still together.”
Carter will turn 98 years old in October, but he has faced down several health scares in recent years. This includes a cancer diagnosis in 2015 and a fall at home in 2019.
In recent years, Carter’s other woes have included a urinary tract infection, a serious fall, and brain surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. It has all had an effect on his life, though you wouldn’t know it from his actions. Carter is still out helping to build homes, teaching Sunday school and much more. The latter is where he revealed his view on his own mortality in the wake of his cancer diagnosis.
“I assumed naturally that I was going to die very quickly,” Carter said in 2019 during a service at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia. “I said a prayer about it I didn’t ask God to let me live, I found that I was absolutely and completely at ease with death.”
— The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) February 18, 2023
The former president also talked about his own personal shift on life and death throughout his life, sharing that he used to struggle with the belief and calling himself a scientist. While adding that he now felt at peace with life, he did share some hope for the U.S. going forward.
“Wouldn’t it be good if the U.S. could be a super power for the environment or for equal rights?” Carter said. “We make hundreds of thousands of decisions every day. Every one of us makes the crucial decision in our life … that this is the kind of person that I myself chose to be.”
Carter is the oldest living former president in U.S. history at 98 years old. He and his wife, Rosalynn, are also the longest-married presidential couple with 73 years together.