My mother is dying and has stopped eating. How long can you live without eating or drinking?

7 answers | Last updated: Nov 28, 2016
Kareng asked...

My mother is dying and has stopped eating. How long can you go without eating? She is still drinking a little.


Expert Answers

This must be a very intense time for you. The length of time someone can live without eating depends on their weight (or amount of body fat), health, and, many believe, attitude. Medical experts usually say the average person can live for 4 to 6 weeks without food. The amount of time someone can go without water is much shorter, roughly a week (or less). If your mother is ready to die, she may go sooner. You don't say much about your situation, but I hope you and your mother have the support you need. Hospice care can be extremely helpful at times like this, medically, but also emotionally. If your mother isn't consciously ready to die, but has stopped eating for some other reason, such as painful swallowing or depression, please talk to her doctors right away to get help. My thoughts are with you.


Community Answers

Strange answered...

My Mother went to bed Friday evening...had a CVA, went comatose, and was dead Monday at 11:20 a.m. No food or water. She was a DNR.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I am so sorry to hear about your mom. This must be very difficult for you. I lost my mother a month ago. She didn't want to drink or eat. When a person is dying the need for food and water slowly decreases as your body shuts down. If she has lost her will to eat and drink then it will not be long. Stay strong!


A fellow caregiver answered...

My grandma is dieing as I text she's not eating or drinking its so hard I'm the only person here with her all day long she's in hospice care at home


Three of us answered...

My father is hardly eating and getting weaker and unable to stand up and falling because of it and hard to keep him from getting up and staying in bed...


A fellow caregiver answered...

Let her smoke medical marijuana and ull see how she will eat good luck. stay strong


A fellow caregiver answered...

Yes the previous answer is right if u want her to eat do that ask fr medical marijuana or edibles . Even doctors give pills that makes the appetite come back