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

4 answers | Last updated: Mar 27, 2015
KarenG asked...

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


73% helpful
Kate Rauch answered...

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 See also:
How can I get my father to eat more?
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.


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CaSoWi 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!