Former US President George Bush Snr spent Christmas in hospital in Texas.
Mr Bush, 88, was first admitted to Methodist Hospital in Houston on 7 November for bronchitis treatment and released on 19 November. But he was re-admitted on 23 November after his cough flared up again.
A spokesman told AFP Mr Bush had had a series of setbacks which, combined with his age, had complicated the timeline for his release.
Mr Bush was president from 1989 - 1993. He also served as vice-president, congressman and director of the Central Intelligence Agency.