Former First Lady Barbara Bush 'in failing health'

former first lady Barbara Bush listens to a patient's question during a visit to the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine.
former first lady Barbara Bush listens to a patient's question during a visit to the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine.

Former first lady Barbara Bush is in "failing health" and will not seek additional medical treatment, a family spokesman has said.

Jim McGrath issued a news release saying that following a recent series of hospital stays and after consulting with her family and doctors, the 92-year-old former first lady has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care.

In this March 29, 2015, file photo, former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara Bush, left, speak before a college basketball regional final game between Gonzaga and Duke, in the NCAA basketball tournament in Houston.

In this March 29, 2015, file photo, former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara Bush, left, speak before a college basketball regional final game between Gonzaga and Duke, in the NCAA basketball tournament in Houston.

He did not elaborate as to the nature of Mrs Bush's health problems.

Mr McGrath says Mrs Bush is surrounded by "a family she adores" and appreciates the many kind messages and prayers she has been receiving.

Mrs Bush is one of only two first ladies who was also the mother of a president. The other was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.

She married George HW Bush in 1945. They had six children and have been married longer than any presidential couple in American history.

Eight years after she and her husband left the White House, Mrs Bush stood with her husband as their son George W was sworn in as president.