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What Causes An Elderly Person To Stop Eating And Drinking?

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Posted on Thu, 26 Oct 2017
Question: Hello -my. Grandmother is 97 she was fine until she wrnt to the nursing home - she has stoppes eating and no water - do u know why ? How can we help
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (16 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Thoughts on this

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

I'm sorry to hear this about your grandmother. I don't know the reason why she went into the nursing home. Was she able to take care of herself prior to the admission? Does she have dementia? Did she have an injury that warranted her needing extra care?

Moving out of one's home to anywhere can be a big shock but especially for someone of her age. So she may be feeling confused and stressed in her new surroundings. She may also be feeling grief and very depressed to not be in her own home.

Is she still able to talk with you? It may be best to spend as much time with her there as you can so that she has the comfort of someone familiar to her and feels safer being there because you or other family members are with her.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (3 minutes later)
I beleive she was in shock yes
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (14 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Thoughts on this

Detailed Answer:
I see. Well, then do spend as much time with her there as possible now.

Not drinking, in someone who is 97, can make them confused, weak, and ill very quickly. So it is very important to make sure she drinks, even if she doesn't feel like eating much yet.

One other thing to consider: Sometimes when a person is admitted to a nursing home, the doctor makes changes to their medications. For example, if they are sleeping poorly, the nurses might ask for the doctor to prescribe a sedative. Changes in medication can have side effects to watch for, and possibly a medication is too strong or causing confusion in her in a way that she isn't thinking about eating or drinking. So you might want to ask the nursing staff if she is getting any new meds, or different dosing, than she was receiving before she went into the nursing home. It's like if someone gave you a narcotic or sleeping pill, or a higher dose of a med than you were used to, you might not know what you are doing, and wouldn't even know why that was happening.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (2 minutes later)
Exactly right - thank you !
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (41 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Your welcome

Detailed Answer:
Best wishes and good luck to you and your grandmother.

Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, MD


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3134 Questions

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What Causes An Elderly Person To Stop Eating And Drinking?

Brief Answer: Thoughts on this Detailed Answer: Hello, I'm sorry to hear this about your grandmother. I don't know the reason why she went into the nursing home. Was she able to take care of herself prior to the admission? Does she have dementia? Did she have an injury that warranted her needing extra care? Moving out of one's home to anywhere can be a big shock but especially for someone of her age. So she may be feeling confused and stressed in her new surroundings. She may also be feeling grief and very depressed to not be in her own home. Is she still able to talk with you? It may be best to spend as much time with her there as you can so that she has the comfort of someone familiar to her and feels safer being there because you or other family members are with her.