Candidemia is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the healthcare setting. However, there is limited information about risk factors for such infection among elderly patients. A case–control study was conducted during the period 2008–2011. For each case, two controls were selected among patients admitted to the same hospital, and individually matched by sex, age, time of admission, hospital ward and hospitalisation duration. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) was calculated using multiple conditional logistic regression. We identified 145 episodes of candidemia occurring in 140 patients with a median age of 80 years. Candida albicans caused 55% of all candidemia episodes. After adjustment, candidemia was strongly associated with duration of total [duration > 7 days: OR = 20.09; 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.44–117.52] and peripheral parenteral nutrition (duration > 7 days: OR = 26.83; 95% CI: 6.54–110.17), other central vascular catheters (OR = 5.17; 95% CI: 1.24–23.54) and glycopeptide antibiotics (OR = 6.45; 95% CI: 1.90–21.91). Duration of peripheral and total parenteral nutrition and antibiotics predicted over 50% of all candidemias. Intervention studies should be planned to evaluate effectiveness of candidemia prevention by restricting parenteral nutrition, prompting earlier enteral feeding, and reducing use of antibiotics, especially glycopeptides, in elderly patients.