Former US President Jimmy Carter will begin receiving hospice care at his home in Georgia, according to a statement from The Carter Center on Saturday.
“After a series of short hospital stays, former US President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention. He has the full support of his family and his medical team,” the statement said.
Jason Carter, a onetime Democratic state senator in Georgia and the former president’s grandson, said he visited Friday with his grandparents and that “they are at peace and – as always – their home is full of love.”
Jimmy Carter, who turned 98 last year, became the oldest living US president in history after the passing of George H.W. Bush, who died in late 2018 at 94. The nation’s 39th president has kept a low public profile in recent years due to the coronavirus pandemic but has continued to speak out about risks to democracy around the world, a longtime cause of his.
Carter beat brain cancer in 2015 but faced a series of health scares in 2019, and consequentially underwent surgery to remove pressure on his brain. His health woes forced him to give up his decadeslong tradition of teaching Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, Georgia.
A peanut farmer and US Navy lieutenant before going into politics, Carter, a Democrat, eventually served one term as governor of Georgia and president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.
The former president is widely revered for his championing of human rights. His brokering of the Camp David Accords in 1978 with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin remains central to his legacy.
Carter reflects on the world’s biggest problem (2018)
In his post-presidency years, Carter founded The Carter Center along with his wife, Rosalynn, in hopes of advancing world peace and health. The center has worked to advance democracy by monitoring foreign elections and reducing diseases in developing countries over the years.
Carter himself has been a longtime volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his efforts to push for peace across the globe.
President Joe Biden, a fellow Democrat and longtime admirer of Carter, has been advised of the former president’s declining health and his decision to seek hospice care, an official told CNN. Biden is staying in close contact with the Carter family and the former president’s close circle of advisers.
The Bidens traveled to Georgia to visit the Carters in 2021 – on the 100th day of Biden’s presidency.
Biden was one of the first US senators to endorse Carter in his 1976 presidential bid, according to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.
Carter was in touch with President Donald Trump and his administration multiple times during the Republican’s time in office.
In 2018, Carter said he received a briefing on North Korea and said he’d be willing to travel to the country on the Trump administration’s behalf. He also wrote Trump a letter on US-China trade relations and spoke with him by phone in April 2019.
While the White House referred to the call as a “very good telephone conversation” and said that Trump “has always liked President Carter,” the relationship deteriorated later that year when the Georgia Democrat called for a full investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and suggested it “would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016.” Carter later issued warnings about Trump’s decision to halt funding to the World Health Organization amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This story and headline have been updated with additional information.