Former President Jimmy Carter, 98, and his wife Rosalynn, 96, are in the “final chapter” of their lives, Carter’s grandson revealed.
In February, the Carter Center announced that the 39th president had decided to enter hospice care at his home in Plains, Georgia after a series of short hospital stays.
“He’s still fully Jimmy Carter,” Josh Carter told PEOPLE in an interview published Saturday. “He’s just tired. I mean he’s almost 99 years old, but he fully understands and has felt the love.”
Three months after the former commander-in-chief entered end-of-life care, Rosalynn Carter was diagnosed with dementia in May.
“She still knows who we are, for the most part — that we are family,” Josh Carter told the outlet, revealing she was the one who signed off on the press release revealing the diagnosis.
He added that it’s “gotta be hard” for his grandfather to watch his wife’s memory fade but “they’ve experienced everything that you can together. I think the beautiful thing is that they are still together.”
Jimmy Carter’s grandson gave an update on his elderly grandparents, saying they are in the “final chapter” of their lives.
Carter’s nephew says his grandfather, pictured with his Rosalynn at an NFL game in 2018, is almost 99 and is tired.
“My grandmother is still able to form new memories,” Josh Carter added, saying a good night’s sleep helps combat the symptoms.
The couple, who share four children, 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, is routinely accompanied by a family member or caregiver throughout the day.
Josh Carter says his grandparents have become quieter, leaving the rest of the family to entertain the former first couple.
“My grandparents have always been the entertainers,” Carter told the outlet. “But now we’re kind of the ones having to entertain. It’s different, it’s just a different era.”
The Carters are still celebrating milestones as last month the pair celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary and the former first lady celebrated her 96 birthday at home earlier this week.
The entire Carter family is preparing for anything that may come in the future.
“Odds are I’m gonna lose my grandfather before my grandmother,” Josh Carter said. “He’s in hospice care and she’s not, and it’s just math.”
“It’s clear we’re in the final chapter,” Josh Carter added.
Carter, the longest-living former president, served a single term in the White House from 1976 to 1981 after he served as Georgia’s Governor from 1971 to 1975 and a state senator in The Peach State.
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