"Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors, Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care," spokesman Jim McGrath said Sunday in a news release.
McGrath did not elaborate as to the nature of Bush's health problems. She has been treated for decades for Graves' disease, which is a thyroid condition, had heart surgery in 2009 for a severe narrowing of her main heart valve and was hospitalized a year before that for surgery on a perforated ulcer.
"It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself - thanks to her abiding faith - but for others," McGrath said. "She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving."
Bush, who is at home in Houston, is one of only two first ladies who was also the mother of a president. The other was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, the nation's second president, and mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president.
Bush married George H.W. Bush on Jan. 6, 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 the 43rd president.
President Donald Trump's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement Sunday evening that "the President's and first lady's prayers are with all of the Bush family during this time."
Bush is known for her white hair and her triple-strand fake pearl necklace.
Her brown hair began to gray in the 1950s, while her 3-year-old daughter Pauline, known to her family as Robin, underwent treatment for leukemia and eventually died in October 1953. She later said dyed hair didn't look good on her and credited the color to the public's perception of her as "everybody's grandmother."
Her pearls sparked a national fashion trend when she wore them to her husband's inauguration in 1989. The pearls became synonymous with Bush, who later said she selected them to hide the wrinkles in her neck. The candid admission only bolstered her common sense and down-to-earth public image.
Her 93-year-old husband, the nation's 41st president who served from 1989 to 1993, also has had health issues in recent years. In April 2017, he was hospitalized in Houston for two weeks for a mild case of pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. He was hospitalized months earlier, also for pneumonia. He has a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a motorized scooter or a wheelchair for mobility.
Before being president, he served as a congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan's vice president.
Barbara Pierce Bush was born June 8, 1925, in Rye, New York. Her father was the publisher of McCall's and Redbook magazines. She and George H.W. Bush married when she was 19 and while he was a young naval aviator. After World War II, the Bushes moved to Texas where he went into the oil business.
Along with her memoirs, she's the author of "C. Fred's Story" and "Millie's Book," based on the lives of her dogs. Proceeds from the books benefited adult and family literacy programs. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy began during her White House years with the goal of improving the lives of disadvantaged Americans by boosting literacy among parents and their children. The foundation partners with local programs and had awarded more than $40 million as of 2014 to create or expand more than 1,500 literacy programs nationwide.
Barbara Bush is a national treasure, a woman of strength, personality and passion for the country and the City of Houston. I will continue to pray for the former First Lady and her entire family. pic.twitter.com/mhNaJpYNhk— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) April 15, 2018
Thoughts with one of America's most loved women , former First Lady Barbara Bush. Her health has been deteriorating and I join thousands in hoping she is comfortable and knows how loved she is throughout the world! 🇱🇷— Kay Bailey Hutchison (@kaybaileyhutch) April 15, 2018
Prayers going up for a woman of great faith, great strength, and an unwavering love of country. Our country is better because of former First Lady Barbara Bush ❤️🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/pewdIu2hjr— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) April 15, 2018
Heartfelt thanks to Barbara Bush for everything she has done for our country. Wishing her a loving time with her family and the dignity of her remarkable life as she enters palliative care.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) April 15, 2018
Barbara Bush is loved and admired across Texas and America, and we are all grateful for her unending contributions to our beloved state and nation. Our prayers are with her, George, and the entire Bush family during this difficult time.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 15, 2018
Barbara Bush was the first First Lady I remember and she was smart, strong and graceful. At 92 I still think the same.— Brian Krassenstein🐬 (@krassenstein) April 15, 2018
Praying for you Mrs Bush. You were from a simpler time.
“Cherish your human connections, your relationships with friends and family.”— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) April 15, 2018
— Barbara Bush pic.twitter.com/11YG1WQq61
Barbara Bush is a woman of grace, humility and great compassion. She and her family are in our prayers. https://t.co/VQHGmHyPfq— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) April 15, 2018
I am sending all my love and prayers to the entire Bush family today - Barbara Bush is a woman of great strength, patriotism and an iconic first lady of our times who has touched and inspired countless lives.— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) April 15, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers for a quick recovery of Lady Barbara Bush. She is a true American hero and a rock of the Bush family. All the best from #Kosovo to the wonderful Bush family who have been instrumental in our part of the world! pic.twitter.com/2pdNPb66a8— Embassy of Kosovo US (@KosovoinUS) April 15, 2018
Prayers for First Lady Barbara Bush and her family. https://t.co/p7C5fj5bjD— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) April 15, 2018
Sending love and light to Barbara Bush’s family, especially to my friends Jenna and Barbara P Bush.— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) April 15, 2018
Guys, let’s put partisanship and political gamenship aside, and please pray for Barbara Bush and her Family. She is a special lady who touched so many people’s lives and made our country and our world a little better.— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) April 15, 2018
Please pray for President George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush, and the Bush family. This statement clearly means she is transitioning. Barbara Bush is 92. pic.twitter.com/X4mBhPttCT— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) April 15, 2018
Thoughts and prayers of comfort go out to the Bush family. https://t.co/WyjgypuKQf— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) April 15, 2018