Josh Carter, Grandson of Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter, Provides Update on His Grandparents’ Declining Health: “We’re in the Final Chapter”

On Saturday (August 19), PEOPLE magazine published an exclusive interview with Josh Carter – the 39-year-old grandson of Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter. The 39-year-old provided an update on his grandparents’ declining health as they enter what he describes as the ‘final chapter’ of their incredible life. 

He praised his grandparents for never giving up on one another and described how ‘beautiful’ and ‘amazing’ it is that they continue to love and support each other. Even with Jimmy in hospice care and Rosalynn battling dementia, he says ‘they are still holding hands’ and still spend every moment together.

But they’re not alone. The former President and First Lady are always joined by at least one other person, whether it be a family member or caregiver. “My grandparents have always been the entertainers,” Josh Carter says. “But now we’re kind of the ones having to entertain. It’s different, it’s just a different era.”

RELATED: Jimmy Carter Shares His Secrets After 75 Years Of Marriage To Rosalynn

Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter fell in love while he was at the United States Naval Academy and they got married on July 7, 1946. They have four children – John William, James Earl, Donnel Jeffrey, and Amy Lynn – and eight grandchildren. Donnel Jeffrey has three children – Josh Carter is the eldest. 

While Josh admits the home is much quieter and calmer than in decades past, he says his grandfather is ‘still fully Jimmy Carter’ and is ‘just tired’ – after all, he’s about to turn 99 years old on October 1. Still, he’s well aware of the love and support he and his wife are receiving and appreciates all the well wishes. 

As for Rosalynn, she is well aware of her dementia diagnosis and understands what it means – she was the one who signed off on the press release revealing the diagnosis. “She still knows who we are, for the most part — that we are family,” Josh says, adding that she still has the ability to form new memories. 

No one knows just how long the iconic couple have left in the world, but Josh admits ‘it’s clear we’re in the final chapter’ and understands that his grandfather will likely be the first to go. “Odds are I’m gonna lose my grandfather before my grandmother. He’s in hospice care and she’s not, and it’s just math,” he says.

Josh Carter Holding On to Precious Memories With Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter

The Carter family might be losing their patriarch and matriarch little by little with each passing day, but they’re not taking any second for granted and continue to show their love and appreciation for Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. As for Josh, he likes to think back to some of the precious memories they shared. 

“We used to get together every year for New Year’s,” Josh said of one of the many traditions the family had – until the COVID-19 pandemic put a brief stop to it. “Every year we got together our entire family and would go somewhere amazing. … And those family trips are one of my most cherished memories.”

Josh, who is a father of two sons, also likes to think back to the close bond one of his sons formed with Jimmy Carter – they used to go fishing as often as they could. There was also a time when his son did tricks on a scooter in Jimmy and Rosalynn’s house, which Rosalynn still gets a kick out of to this day. 

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Just a few weeks ago, another one of Jimmy and Rosalynn’s grandchildren – Hugo Wentz – spoke to PEOPLE about his relationship with them. “He’s been an amazing grandpa. He’s an amazing person. I absolutely love him,” he said. “Just from what he’s done as a family man, I’ve had great experiences.”

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