A source close to the family of former Premier Ralph Klein says the 70-year-old is in extremely poor health.

Klein has been living at a senior’s facility, suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and a form of dementia for several years.

“Ralph Klein under palliative care. Albertans should brace for the worst as the people's premier prepares to move on. Very sad days ahead,” Don Martin, who wrote a book on Klein, tweeted on Wednesday.

He also spoke on CTV Morning Live, saying that he's been getting a lot of rest. "He’s lost a lot of weight. He knows fewer and fewer people,” Martin said on Wednesday morning. “…It is definitely a sad state of affairs and he is in very grave condition.”

The Calgary Herald reported Tuesday that Klein’s health has declined significantly in recent weeks. Marisa Etmanski, Klein’s former press secretary, told the Herald there were no plans to move Klein to a hospital.

“I know he is not well, and his condition, of course, is progressing,” she told the paper.

Many public figures started taking to social media to express their thoughts and prayers for the Klein family.

Klein, who was premier of Alberta from 1993 until 2006, began experiencing chronic lung problems shortly after leaving office.

He was diagnosed in the spring of 2011, with frontotemporal dementia, a disease that affects areas of the brain that control behaviour and speech. Klein lost the ability to speak later that year.

Martin says Klein is an endearing character that touched many Albertans. "He was a guy they could relate to, someone they could have a beer with and say, 'Yup, I had a drink with the Premier and he's just like one of us.'

“That was always his magic, both as the mayor of Calgary and as the premier, and that will be his legacy.”

With files from CTVNews.ca