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Jimmy Carter enters hospice care at his home | What we know

Here's what we know right now.

ATLANTA — On Saturday, the Carter Center shared the news that former President Jimmy Carter would begin receiving hospice care.

Statements of support have poured in from across the spectrum -- from politicians to actors to charitable organizations -- as people globally send their prayers for the former president and his family. 

Here's what we know right now.

What is hospice care? 

Hospice care, according to the Mayo Clinic, is care for those who are nearing the end of their lives. Unlike other care, the focus of care is to provide the best quality of life for the patient, for whatever time remains. 

The services help "maximize comfort" for a person by "reducing pain and addressing physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs."

Most hospice care is provided at home, but could also be provided at hospitals or dedicated facilities. 

What happens next?

It's impossible to know how much time Carter has before his passing, but the Carter Center shared that the former president would spend his "remaining time" at home. In its statement, the Carter Center said that he has the full support of his family and medical team.

After, the country will begin mourning the 39th president, who grew more beloved in his post-presidency years for his humanitarian efforts and promotion of democracy all over the world.

Jason Carter, Carter's grandson, tweeted Saturday that his grandparents are "at peace" with the decision.

Previous health problems?

According to reports, the former president had been in and out of the hospital recently, though the specific nature of those stays is unknown. 

He survived a dire cancer diagnosis in 2015 and was later cleared in 2017.

More recently, Carter underwent brain surgery in 2019 to relieve pressure caused by bleeding after a series of falls, some of which left the former president with a fractured pelvis, a black eye and stitches.

He was quick to recover, however, and was quickly back teaching Sunday school and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.

How old is Jimmy Carter?

Carter is the oldest living former president in U.S. history. 

The former president celebrated his most recent birthday in October with family and friends in Plains, the tiny Georgia town where he and his wife, Rosalynn, were born in the years between World War I and the Great Depression.

He is currently 98 years old.

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