Former President Jimmy Carter remains on hospice 'experiencing the world as best he can' despite not waking at all some days

 June 12, 2024

Former President Jimmy Carter's grandson Jason Carter says the 99-year-old now spends many of his days asleep, The Hill reported. The eldest grandchild of the 39th president says he is "experiencing the world as best he can" after more than a year in hospice care. 

Jimmy Carter entered hospice in February 2023 after declining further medical interventions. He instead wished to remain at home in Georgia, surrounded by loved ones.

In November of that same year, Jimmy Carter's wife Rosalynn also entered hospice care and died just two days later. In an interview published last week in Southern Living, Jason Carter, 48, said he believes that still weighs heavily on his grandfather.

"After 77 years of marriage … I just think none of us really understand what it’s like for him right now. We have to embrace that fact, that there’s things about the spirit that you just can’t understand," Jason Carter said.

A Family Member Slowly Fading Away

Jimmy Carter has been holding on to life for 16 months now. His family didn't foresee such a long road, but Jason Carter noted that "God had other plans" for the former president.

He spends most of his days sleeping, Jason Carter said of his grandfather. The grandson noted that there are good days and bad days but that many relatives filter through the Plains, Georgia, home to visit.

Jason Carter said he and his grandfather talked about the goings-on with the Carter Center, a nonprofit that Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter began during a recent visit. They watched the Atlanta Braves game as Jimmy Carter has been a lifelong fan of his home team.

Still, Jimmy Carter's condition remains ever-changeable, a fact grandson and grandfather find astonishing. "I told him, I said: ‘Pawpaw, you know, when people ask me how you’re doing, I say, 'Honestly, I don’t know,'" Jason Carter recounted.

"And he kind of smiled, and he said, 'I don’t know myself.' It was pretty sweet," the younger Carter said.

Home Connections

After his wife and family, the thing Jimmy Carter loves the most is his home. The couple has owned it together since 1961 but will donate it to the National Parks Service after Jimmy Carter's death.

"[Plains] is the place that has given him the greatest support, and it is the only place where he would go through this part of his life. That’s his home in every way, and he really cherished that time and that support," Jason Carter said.

"I think the fact that he and my grandmother both came from that small town — it’s a 600-person village, really — and it’s not near any interstate, and it is truly out in the country, and it is a fundamental part of who he is and who he has been for his whole life. There is no other place in the world that he would be at peace other than Plains," Jason Carter added.

"It is such an American story … to go to Plains and see the house that my grandparents built and lived in for all their time and came home to after being president...It is a really incredible story to go from that little town to the White House and back again," the grandson said.

By all accounts, Jimmy Carter was a good and decent man, even if he was a terrible president. This is such a stark contrast to the current Democratic president and somehow makes one long for the bygone days of the Carter administration.

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