‘It’s more than Jimmy Carter the president, it’s Jimmy Carter the person’: Carter getting home hospice care

Carter, the oldest living president, is getting hospice care at his home in Plains
Published: Feb. 19, 2023 at 11:01 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2023 at 8:28 AM EST
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PLAINS, Ga. (WALB) - Jimmy Carter, the oldest living president and the only president from Georgia, is receiving hospice care at his home in Plains.

The Carter Center released a statement about the former president entering hospice care saying that Carter “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 reads.

The Carter Center said the decision for hospice care was made after a series of short hospital stays.

Carter’s church, Maranatha Baptist Church, still had a Sunday service following the announcement about his hospice care.

Carter taught Sunday school services at the church for many years.

Carter, 98, has largely stayed out of the public eye in recent months. In 2015, he survived cancer that spread to his brain. In 2019, he survived a bad fall.

Plains is a town of fewer than 600 people. It’s normally pretty quiet, more so on Sundays. The exception is the former Plains High School. It’s the school where Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter graduated from. It closed in 1979 but reopened in 1996 as the visitor center and museum and it’s open every day.

“Well it made me sad, he did so much for this country,” Neil Steirer, a museum visitor, said.

Some travelers came to the museum on Sunday, after hearing the news that Jimmy Carter is now in hospice.

“I said to him, ‘Oh my gosh, his hospice has started,’ and we didn’t want to experience that in town, we wanted to celebrate the life,” Mary Braband, a museum visitor from Green Bay, Wis., said.

“That he was real man like he is a real guy,” Jayson Haberkorn, Colorado resident, said.

People from all around the country from Wisconsin to Colorado came to Plains to learn more about the former president. They shared their stories of how they remember his presidency.

“Well, I think the fact that he was a peacemaker, is underappreciated. And then everything he did for the environment, and then help heal the country to after a troubling time with watergate, and those events. He was a healer and brought people together,” Ken Braband, a museum visitor from Green Bay, Wis., said.

“In one word, I think it would be formative is what it will be. I remember he had a quote saying maybe his presidency wasn’t the most successful, but him being an American President has allowed him to do all the stuff he has done afterward,” Haberkorn said.

Some of the museum still resembles the school the Carters attended as kids. Other rooms have exhibits with stories of his presidency and all of the Carters’ work in the community and worldwide. With so many reflecting on the life of the 39th president, many are in awe of everything the Carters achieved.

“Well I think the message is, he was only president for four years, but he has been alive for almost 99, so for those other 90-something years, he has done amazing things for our community, country, our world. It’s more than Jimmy Carter the president, it’s Jimmy Carter the person,” Haberkorn said.

Jimmy Carter’s legacy goes way beyond the small town of Plains. But it is where it all started. And now, more than ever, many want to take it in.

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