Granny Nannies: Why Do Senior Citizens Eat Dinner Earlier?

in-home caregiver services

Granny Nannies: Why Do Senior Citizens Eat Dinner Earlier?

At Granny Nannies, we provide in-home caregiver services to maintain the dignity of our patients and relieve the pressure on their family. As professional in-home caregivers, we assist with the day-to-day tasks that become more difficult as our clients age.

and the typical day-to-day tasks are all fair and well. But have you ever wondered about the habits of the aging members of your family? Why, as they grow older, your relatives may change their behaviors in ways you might not understand?

A common question we encounter is “Why is my family member eating dinner at 4 PM?” Which is fair because on average, senior citizens tend to eat their dinners in the late afternoon or early evening. And these times often seem quite odd from an outsider’s perspective. There are, however, several reasons why they may choose to eat so much earlier.

Join us today as we look at why dinner tends to happen earlier in the day as we age.


Growing older means adapting to a new lifestyle. Someone who worked for thirty years and then retired will suddenly find themselves with an eight-hour gap in their day. This is more difficult to fill than you might think. And don’t underestimate how impactful that can be. The sudden loss of a daily routine after decades of keeping busy could leave anybody feeling lost.

Of course, there is an even sadder aspect to this problem. When the elderly lose their life partners, it can be difficult to adjust their daily routines. When a husband or wife passes away, it’s only normal to expect a certain amount of depression to set in, no matter what your family member may say. Waking up earlier, lack of enthusiasm for daily activities, and a sense that they are just trying to get their daily schedule out of the way are all par for the course. This applies to dinner as well, and you’ll often see the elderly taking their dinners extremely early in the day, with little to no reason to look forward to the meal.

This is why in-home caregiver services are so important. With a professional on hand to provide companionship, your family member has a reason to look forward to meals, participate in activities, and maintain their hygiene.

Lack of Activity

As senior citizens experience the natural aging of their body, getting enough exercise can become challenging. Aside from impacting their physical condition, this also means they tend not to get as hungry as they once did.

Physical activity is a large part of what drives our appetite. Without exercise or regular physical activity, our bodies consume fewer calories, and meals seem less important to us. This is problematic, as it can lead to insubstantial nutrient intake, and a range of associated health issues as a result. Not following regular meal plans is a leading cause of undernourishment in the elderly, which is why Granny Nannies offers help with meal preparation.

Bathroom Maneuvering

While it may be embarrassing for them, another reason many senior citizens tend to move their meals up in the day is anxiety about going to the bathroom at night.

This is an unfortunate but completely normal part of the aging process. As bone density suffers from aging and the ability to maneuver properly diminishes, there is a real possibility that a trip to the bathroom at night could end in a fall. And a fall, in a house with nobody there, could result in injuries that take upwards of 24 hours for anyone to discover.

It may sound unlikely to someone with their full faculties. This, however, is actually a common reason why many elderly parents choose not to eat or drink close to bedtime.

In-Home Caregiver Services

Growing older is complicated. There are a lot of factors you might not be able to understand from the outside, but what’s important is to listen carefully to the people in your life as they explain their needs to you. A big part of this insight is in working with a professional in-home caregiver, who can give you reports on your family member’s condition, needs, and developments.

For professional in-home caregiver services, get in touch with Granny Nannies today!