Joel Theisen, RN, Lifesprk CEO was on site walking the hallways of Parkshore Senior Campus in St. Louis Park, MN, to recognize Lifesprk team members for their commitment to sparking the lives of seniors when he walked right into a dance session that stopped him in his tracks. “This is the stuff that I talk about every day,” said Joel. “Our approach is to help people live the healthiest, most independent life possible by focusing on their purpose and passion and here it was unfolding before my eyes.”
The dance session is a normal occurrence for Patty Amano, Lifesprk client, and David Kolleh, Lifesprk home health aide, who do this every time they see each other. Patty’s Life Care Manager, Paula Crouch, says Patty beams each time they dance together and it’s something she looks forward too. Patty and her husband were dancers all their married lives so dancing has always been a big part of her life.
And why not? Dancing has many health benefits from strengthening cognitive function and reducing the effects of dementia to increasing social connectedness. Not to mention the feelings of pure joy that come from simply dancing.
But what Joel saw in that unexpected moment proved something bigger than just dancing. It’s in the effort it takes to help someone else believe they have the ability within themselves to get up and dance in the hallway, to feel that spark and to look forward, each week, to igniting the spark again. “Investing in your culture is more than just awards and pieces of paper,” added Joel. “It’s igniting your team’s own inner purpose and passion and creating a culture where people believe so much in the mission of the company that they are moved to create sparked opportunities for their clients and families. To dance, paint, sail or fly planes, we encourage the creativity of each employee to do whatever it takes to spark someone else’s life – it’s not always the medical services seniors need but the opportunity to be who they are.” And the room to dance whenever they want.
Joel was moved by that moment – what else could he do but get up and dance with them and let the spark unabashedly move right through. As for Patty, when she was escorted back to her other activity she was involved in she excitedly told her friends, ‘I just danced with the President.’