BREAKING: Former President Jimmy Carter enters hospice care at home

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Jimmy Carter, the oldest living former US president, has chosen to spend his final days in hospice care at home in Plains, Georgia, after a series of brief hospital stays, according to the Carter Center on Saturday, February 18.

Carter has overcome serious health issues, including being diagnosed with melanoma that had spread to his liver and brain in 2015.

Doctors said he defied the odds after treatment, and Carter announced later that year that he was cancer-free.

The Carter Center in Atlanta did not say whether his cancer had returned or if another health condition prompted his decision to opt for hospice care rather than continuing medical care.

Carter “has the full support of his family and his medical team,” according to the center’s statement, of his decision. Carter, a former peanut farmer and engineer, rose to become the 39th President of the United States for one term from 1977 to 1981.

“I saw both of my grandparents yesterday,” Jason Carter, a grandson, wrote on Twitter late Saturday afternoon. They are at peace, and their home is full of love, as it always is.” He thanked his supporters “for all your kind words.”

Carter’s health has deteriorated in recent months, and he now uses a wheelchair to get around, while his wife, Rosalynn, 95, walks.

Carter and his wife have taken car rides around Georgia in recent weeks, driven by their Secret Service detail.

Hospice is a type of care for people nearing the end of their lives that is primarily intended to make patients comfortable and to support them and their families after they have decided to discontinue treatment. Hospice usually accepts patients who are expected to live no more than six months, but some people live much longer.

The Carter Center, a non-profit dedicated to conflict resolution, democracy, and disease prevention, stated that the family “asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers.”

The declaration Carter celebrated his 98th birthday four months ago, including a parade hosted by his hometown. During Plains’ annual Peanut Festival the weekend before, he and Rosalynn were chauffeured around in a red convertible by a Secret Service agent. Their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren trailed the vehicle.

Since leaving the White House, Carter and his 76-year-old wife have lived quietly in a house they built in 1961 in their hometown, where they met as children.