The Carter Center tweeted a statement, which reads in part that the former first lady "continues to live happily at home enjoying spring in Plains and visits with loved ones."
Mrs. Carter, 95, has championed a number of causes, but is perhaps best known as a pioneer for mental health advocacy. She worked for the passage of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980 and has continued the advocacy work through The Carter Center in Atlanta.
"Mrs. Carter has been the nation’s leading mental health advocate for much of her life. First in the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, then in the White House, and later at The Carter Center, she urged improved access to care and decreased stigma about issues surrounding mental health," a statement from The Carter Center reads in part.
Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn watch an Atlanta Falcons game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Read the full statement below:
"The Carter family is sharing that former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has dementia. She continues to live happily at home with her husband, enjoying spring in Plains and visits with loved ones.
"Mrs. Carter has been the nation’s leading mental health advocate for much of her life. First in the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, then in the White House, and later at The Carter Center, she urged improved access to care and decreased stigma about issues surrounding mental health. One in 10 older Americans have dementia, a condition that affects overall mental health. We recognize, as she did more than half a century ago, that stigma is often a barrier that keeps individuals and their families from seeking and getting much-needed support. We hope sharing our family's news will increase important conversations at kitchen tables and in doctor’s offices around the country.
"As the founder of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, Mrs. Carter often noted that there are only four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers; those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers. The universality of caregiving is clear in our family, and we are experiencing the joy and the challenges of this journey. We do not expect to comment further and ask for understanding for our family and for everyone across the country serving in a caregiver role."
News of Mrs. Carter's dementia comes as President Carter, 98, undergoes end of life care. The Carter Center announced in February that the former president began receiving hospice care "after a series of short hospital stays" rather than seeking "additional medical intervention."
- In 1969, Jimmy Carter saw a UFO in Georgia. Here's what happened.
- Biden reveals Jimmy Carter asked him to deliver his eulogy
- Jimmy Carter's niece says former president still has 'some time in him'
- Jimmy Carter: Rise to the presidency depended on many twists
According to his grandson, Jason Carter, the longest-lived president remains in good spirits as he visits with family, follows public discussion of his legacy and receives updates on The Carter Center's humanitarian work around the world, his grandson says. He's even enjoying regular servings of ice cream.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.