Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter has now been in hospice care for one full year.

Carter -- who, at 99 years old, is the country's longest-living president -- entered hospice one year ago on Sunday (Feb. 18) following "a series of short hospital stays," according to USA Today. The former president has battled cancer since at least 2015; he hasn't specified all the details of that diagnosis, but did share that the illness metastasized to his brain.

Once he decided to forgo further curative treatment in February 2023, Carter elected to receive palliative care at his longtime home in Plains, Ga., surrounded by his family. He continues to receive care there.

In acknowledgement of the one-year anniversary of Carter's entrance into hospice, his family issued a statement to USA Today expressing how happy they are that his decision has raised awareness of palliative care options for so many others across the country.

"The Carter family is grateful for the many expressions of love they have received and the continued respect for their privacy during this time," the statement details. "The family is pleased that his decision last year to enter hospice care has sparked so many family discussions across the country on an important subject."

Last November, several months after Carter's decision to pursue palliative care, his wife Rosalynn also entered hospice care at home in Georgia. The former First Lady died just one day after that announcement. She was 96 years old.

Carter attended his wife's private memorial service, which took place in Atlanta, Ga. Also in attendance were Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, who performed a rendition of "Imagine" in Rosalynn's honor.

  • Brooks and Yearwood are longtime friends of the Carter family.
  • They bonded over their shared passion for volunteer work, specifically with Habitat for Humanity.
  • The country power couple stepped in as official hosts for the 2023 Carter Work Project, which focused on creating affordable homes in Charlotte, N.C. That build marked the first time the Carters hadn't personally attended a Work Project since 1984.

Typically, people who enter hospice care spend a much shorter amount of time receiving palliative treatment before their deaths; however, it's not uncommon for patients' life expectancies to vary significantly.

"Statistically, the majority of people who enroll in hospice care unfortunately are on hospice care for less than a month," American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Dr. Holly Yang says in a statement, according to People.

"However, people could benefit from it for months," Yang continues, "and it's not unusual to have people who live longer than sometimes the doctors expect."

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