By Steve Moran
Jack Cumming, a regular contributor, and Yoda to the entire Senior Living Foresight Team, sent me a LinkedIn post where an actuary suggested that we take the age we expect to live, subtract from that the age we are today, and then calculate the number of days we have left to live.
Then use that ever-decreasing number to remember that we do not have an “infinite pool of time” to invest in activities while on this planet.
He suggested that it will slow down one’s perception of time (I tend to think that at my age, speeds it up). And more importantly, it helps make each day really count.
My number today, August 24, 2022, is 8,197 days left. That is based on a life expectancy of 90 years. I tried one online calculator that told me I would live to 86. I think it is wrong, based on my family history. More sobering for me was that, calculating from age 90, I have a bit less than 23 years left to live, and that seems like such a small number.
What Really Counts?
What really counts is going to be very different for each person, and will not be the same moment to moment, week to week, and month to month. There will be times when it is sitting in the hot tub, playing with grandkids, writing articles, climbing mountains, or taking a nap.
What I want to avoid is spending days or weeks doing nothing and looking back and thinking, what a waste!
Almost every resident in every senior living community has a remaining number of days that is far lower than mine. In most cases, when it comes to assisted living, it is a number that is under 1,000. And I bet right now if you are working in a community, you can make a list of residents whose number is less than 300, and that is sobering. Likely, you are thinking of a few who are down under 100.
I have this mental picture of doing this calculation for each resident and then maybe once a week talking about each resident’s number of remaining days, asking the question: How do we make this day, this week, fantastic?
How many days do you have left? What are you going to do this week to make the next seven days into something meaningful?