Failure to Thrive, Adult

ExitCare Image Adult failure to thrive is a condition that some older people can get over time. These people are not able to do things they once could. They may not be interested in the things they once liked. This is not a normal part of aging. Treatment is directed at the cause. Sometimes, treatment is not possible if a cause cannot be found.


Home care depends on the cause of the condition. Basic home care includes:

  • Taking all medicines as told by the doctor.

  • Eating healthy foods.

  • Asking the doctor about taking vitamins, herbs, or nutrition drinks.

  • Exercising.

  • Making sure the home is safe.

  • Understanding what to do when the person can no longer make decisions on his or her own.


  • The person has thoughts about ending his or her life.

  • The person cannot eat or drink.

  • The person does not get out of bed.

  • Staying at home is not safe.

  • The person has a fever.

  • There are questions about medicines.

  • There are questions about treatment effects.

  • The person is not able to eat well.

  • The person is not able to move around.

  • The person feels very sad or hopeless.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch the person's condition.

  • Will get help right away if the person is not doing well or gets worse.