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Jimmy Carter hospice care Rosalynn Carter death end-of-life care

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter died at the age of 96 after entering hospice care, raising awareness about end-of-life care.

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter passed away on Sunday after entering hospice care in her Georgia home, days after being diagnosed with dementia. Her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, entered hospice care in February after several hospital stays, and their grandson, Jason Carter, stated in September that they were nearing the end.

Hospice care is an end-of-life care option that provides comfort and support in the final stages of life. It is designed to maximize the patient's quality of life as they near death, and both patients and loved ones receive support from a hospice team consisting of a physician, nurses, nurse assistants, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers.

Patients in hospice care do not receive any medical intervention designed to prolong life, but it is not medically assisted death either. It is provided to patients who choose to no longer receive treatment for a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of six months or less.

The goal of hospice care is to help people die pain-free, with dignity, and surrounded by family and friends. It is usually provided at home or in a nursing home, assisted living facility, hospital, or dedicated hospice facility.

Rosalynn Carter was known for championing mental health and humanitarian causes and received an outpouring of support after her passing. In 2018, over half of Medicare patients enrolled in hospice care died at home, according to research by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

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