Online calculator predicts your death date so you can plan final family holidays

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A calculator that predicts when people will die has been launched.

The online gizmo, named Risk Evaluation for Support: Predictions for Elder-Life in the Community Tool (RESPECT), uses data from nearly half a million older adults to forecast how long a person has left to live.

It can even predict whether someone is likely to die within the next four weeks.

More than 491,000 older adults, who are expected to die within the next five years, provided information – such as about their health – between 2013 and 2017.

Researchers hope it will help them to better understand the needs of the elderly and assist with planning a patient's care needs.

Users add details such as whether they have had a stroke, dementia, or hypertension – and whether abilities to carry out tasks over three months had decreased.

The ability to make decisions is also asked and whether they have suffered vomiting, swelling, shortness of breath, unplanned weight loss, dehydration or loss of appetite.

Researchers found declines in a person's ability to carry out activities of daily living were stronger predictors of six-month mortality than the diseases that a person has.

Dr Amy Hsu, an investigator at the Bruy re Research Institute and at the University of Ottawa in Canada, said: "The RESPECT calculator allows families and their loved ones to plan.

"For example, it can help an adult child plan when to take a leave of absence from work to be with a parent or decide when to take the last family vacation together."

Dr Peter Tanuseputro, of Ottawa Hospital, said: "Knowing how long a person has to live is essential in making informed decisions about what treatments they should get and where they should get them.

"As a person gets closer to death, the balance shifts from having curative care as the primary goal, to care that maximises a person's quality of remaining life."

The research was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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