Former President George H. W. Bush has been hospitalized in Houston for the past week with what his staff confirms is bronchitis and a chronic cough.
Jim McGrath, a Bush spokesman, tells ABC News that the 88-year-old former president has not developed pneumonia or any life-threatening condition and is expected to be released over the coming weekend.
His family has said publicly the former president is no longer able to walk unassisted, a frustration for a man who enjoyed an active lifestyle of golf, fishing, jogging, and power walks on the beach near his summer home in Maine. In Houston, where he and his wife Barbara Bush have lived since leaving the White House almost 20 years ago, President Bush has been in and out of the hospital for health concerns and two hip replacement surgeries.
The former president became emotional last summer in a birthday interview with his granddaughter Jenna, a contributor to NBC's "Today Show." He read a portion of a letter to his family about growing old.
"As the summers finish out, and the seas get a little higher, winds a little colder," he wrote. "I'll be making some notes, writing it down lest I forget so I can add to the report on getting older. Who knows, maybe they will come out with a new drug that makes legs bend easier, joints hurt less, drives go farther, memory come roaring back and all fears about falling off fishing rafts go away."
Ann Compton covered the Bush presidency for ABC News.