Our Founder

About Our Founder

Our founder, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, began her caregiving journey at an early age. From the time of her father’s cancer diagnosis to his passing when she was 13, Mrs. Carter helped care for him and her younger siblings. Within a year of his death, her grandmother unexpectedly passed away, and her grieving grandfather moved into their home so her mother could care for him. Since that time, President and Mrs. Carter have navigated many of their own caregiver experiences in their life together.

It was this journey, and the similar stories of countless other Americans, that inspired Mrs. Carter to found the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers in 1987, and it is why she continues to be a vocal advocate for family caregivers at every stage of their journey.

A Letter from Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter
Caregiving is hard, even on the good days when it brings joy and fulfillment. It requires dedication, determination, and time.

More than 53 million Americans provide care for adults and children who cannot care for themselves. Whether helping an aging parent, a seriously ill spouse or child or some other special person in need, those giving care often do so at a great personal sacrifice of time, energy and income.

I know firsthand the demands of caregiving. When I was 12 years old my father became terminally ill with leukemia. I was one of four children and as the oldest and a daughter, my 34-year-old mother depended on me. Since returning home from the White House, we have supported many members of Jimmy’s family who have died of cancer, and I helped care for my mother until she died in 2000 at the age of 94. As I’ve traveled this country speaking about caregiving, person after person has stepped forward to tell me their own stories. So many people giving care to their loved ones feel isolated, inadequate, despairing.
At a time when more and more Americans are called on to give care, it is critically important that we do all we can to support caregivers.

Rosalynn Carter


Helping Yourself Help Others
Rosalynn Carter with 
Susan K. Golant

With a new foreword from Jennifer Olsen and Paurvi Bhatt

Rosalynn Carter

A cause close to Rosalynn Carter’s heart is caregiving. Over the course of her life, Mrs. Carter has had her own caregiving experiences and has heard from countless people around the world about theirs.

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