(CNN) — A member of the extended family of former US president Jimmy Carter said his close relatives are with him while he receives hospice care at his home in Plains, Georgia. “His children and his grandchildren are with him,” LeAnne Smith, the niece of Carter’s wife, Rosalynn, said Friday.
Carter’s family announced last Saturday that the former president would receive hospice care after many years of deteriorating health. Smith recounted that he visited Carter’s home the next day to speak with his family, but the former president was resting at the time. Smith last saw Carter a month ago, when he and Rosalynn were riding in a golf cart in downtown Plains.
Smith believes that deliberately entering the final stage of his life can bring comfort to the family around him. “I know I had conversations with my dad when he had cancer and was in hospice care, and it’s a priceless time that can never be appreciated enough,” he said.
The Carters’ announcement generated an outpouring of media and supporters to their small hometown, and Smith says that’s been a good thing, too.
“I think it’s good for all of us in the process of healing something that we know is inevitable and will happen at some point, whether it’s tomorrow or when I’m 100,” Smith told CNN. “But talking to all of you and other people who have come to share and witness his legacy, I think it has been something very, very good”, he completed.
The hospice ad for Jimmy Carter
The Carter Center announced that the former president would receive palliative care at his home in Georgia. “After a series of brief hospital stays, former US President Jimmy Carter has decided to spend whatever time he has left at home with his family, receiving palliative care rather than further medical intervention,” the statement said. “He has everything the support of his family and his medical team.
Carter, 98, is the longest-serving president in US history. He survived metastasized brain cancer and faced a host of health issues, including brain surgery after a fall in 2019.
Carter, former president of the United States, was born in 1924 in Plains, Georgia. In 1946 he married Rosalynn (Smith) Carter, with whom he has lived ever since and with whom he had four children.