updated 10/16/2006 7:03:35 PM ET 2006-10-16T23:03:35

Former President Gerald R. Ford returned to his Southern California desert home Monday after five days of hospitalization for medical tests, his spokeswoman said Monday.

Ford, 93, who was admitted Oct. 12 to Eisenhower Medical Center, returned to his Thunderbird Estates compound about a mile away, chief of staff Penny Circle said. She did not disclose the nature of the tests.

“President Ford, Mrs. Ford and the Ford family wish to thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes,” she wrote in a statement.

Ford underwent heart procedures in August at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He received a cardiac pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat and underwent angioplasty, with stents in two of his coronary arteries to increase blood flow.

In July, Ford was admitted to Colorado’s Vail Valley Medical Center for a few days because of shortness of breath. In January, he was hospitalized for 12 days in Rancho Mirage for treatment of pneumonia. Five years ago, Ford suffered two small strokes and spent about a week in a hospital.

Ford was House minority leader when President Nixon chose him to replace Spiro Agnew, who resigned, as vice president in 1973. Ford became president on Aug. 9, 1974, when Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal.

Ford became the nation’s oldest living former president after Ronald Reagan died in 2004 at age 93.

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