Former United States President Jimmy Carter decided to receive hospice care and “spend his remaining time at home with his family”, according to a statement by the Carter Center. At 98 years old, Carter is the longest-lived US president.
He began hospice care at home instead of “additional medical intervention” after a series of short hospital stays, the Carter Center said on Saturday.
“He has the full support of his family and his medical team,” the center said, adding that the Carter family, “asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers”.
Carter, a Democrat who held the office of president from January 1977 to January 1981, has experienced a number of health problems lately, including melanoma that spread to his liver and brain, despite having responded well to therapy.
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He started his campaign for the presidency before the 1976 election as a little-known governor from Georgia.
After the Vietnam War and the Watergate affair, which resulted in Richard Nixon’s impeachment in 1974, the former peanut farmer went on to defeat then-President Gerald R. Ford. He did this by capitalizing on his outsider status in Washington.
Carter’s one turbulent time in government was marked by domestic economic problems and the Iran hostage situation, which was resolved shortly after he left office. Yet he also was a key player in facilitating the Camp David Accords, which resulted in the historic peace deal between Egypt and Israel.
Carter lost to Republican Ronald Reagan in an overwhelming victory in 1980, opening the door for decades of global campaigning on behalf of democracy, public health, and human rights through the Carter Center. The center was inaugurated in 1982 by the former president and his wife, Rosalynn, who is 95.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 in recognition of his “untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development”.
Jason Carter, the couple’s grandson who now chairs the Carter Center’s governing board, said on Saturday that he “saw both of my grandparents yesterday. They are at peace and — as always — their home is full of love”.
Carter, who spent the majority of his life in Plains, Georgia, travelled frequently into his 80s and early 90s, including annual trips to build homes with Habitat for Humanity and frequent trips abroad as part of the Carter Center’s election monitoring and effort to eradicate the Guinea worm parasite in developing nations. Carter, who has lived most of his life in Plains, Georgia, is a former president of the United States.
He was a nonagenarian who received a cancer diagnosis in 2015 and expressed contentment with his lengthy existence. “I’m perfectly at ease with whatever comes,” he said. “I’ve had an exciting, adventurous, and gratifying existence.” Carter has four children with his wife Rosalynn, whom he wed in 1946.