The Power of an Hour
The first hour after a traumatic injury, heart attack, or a stroke is often called the golden hour. That is because the most successful emergency treatment occurs in that first hour. Responding to an event like that is the ultimate in urgency, re-prioritizing anything else that was planned. Less dramatic, but just as crucial to life, is what we use each hour of the day to prioritize.
Mayo Clinic says to get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week plus strength training for all major muscle groups. For seniors that combination is an hour at a time at least three days per week. A Lancet study found those who used the hour that way has a 28% reduced risk of premature death. Movement is the key to healthy aging.
Socialization is another high priority that dramatically affects emotional well-being. Statista 2019 shows that both men and women spend less than an hour per day socializing and communicating. The 2018 average was 41 minutes, yet numerous studies show more is needed for emotional health. Moving that average to an hour per day will pay health dividends.
In a Stanford University study, economics professor John Pencorel found productivity at work tasks sharply dropped after 50 hours per workweek. Those who worked 70 hours accomplished no more than those who worked 55 hours. In today's competitive workplace environment those with balanced lives accomplish more. Is there an hour each day that can be better spent?
Numerous studies show American children spend two to three times more on screens than conversing with their parents. As they grow older it increases even more. Focusing a full hour each day will do wonders to parent-child relationships. As they become adults and even move away, use technology to have a regularly scheduled face-to-face, even if it is on a screen.
When families are searching for the right Assisted Living, Memory Care, or Independent Community, we tour them to a few appropriate locations to spend an hour experiencing the environment and culture to make the right decision. That hour does far more than viewing a screen or reading the ad copy to make a quality decision.
Once their loved one has moved into a senior community there is a question of how often to visit, how long to stay, and many times how to fit that time into a packed adult schedule. The power of an hour each week is a great balance between feeling guilty for not often enough or feeling guilty because other priorities get ignored. Use the power, it’s just an hour.