In April 2016, Mickey Hamilton, recreation director at Garden Terrace Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence was named the National Association of Activity Professionals’ Activity Professional of the Year at the organization’s annual conference in Dallas, Texas.
Hamilton has served the residents of Garden Terrace in Aurora, Colorado, for four years and currently serves as the president of the board for the Colorado Activity Professionals Association. In addition, Hamilton has served as treasurer and fundraiser chair for CAPA.
At Garden Terrace Aurora, Hamilton serves as the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s coordinator and is a Dementia Capable Care specialist and certified instructor.
In 2015, Hamilton was awarded the Activity Professional of the Year for CAPA and was a top leader of Walk to End Alzheimer’s teams in the state.
Hamilton promotes the activity profession by being a mentor to her staff and other activity professionals. She encourages others to excel in the activity profession and is always ready to offer help with suggestions on programming. Hamilton helps others understand what Alzheimer’s is and how it affects individuals. She is also willing to help activity professionals create environments that benefit residents and help them be the best that they can be.
John Moreno, executive director of Garden Terrace Aurora, believes Hamilton’s award is well deserved.
“Mickey genuinely cares for the residents she serves, and she believes that activities are more than time fillers,” said Moreno. “Mickey strives to put into place programming that nurtures the residents, gives them purpose and maintains their cognitive abilities.”
When nominations were gathered for the national award in the fall of 2015, residents’ family members were able to commend Hamilton for her efforts by turning comments in during the nomination process. They shared that Hamilton ensures residents always have something to look forward to and noted that her actions demonstrate that it’s not just a job for her.
One resident at Garden Terrace had this to say about Hamilton: “Her daily programs reflect ingenuity and diversity and show her interest in entertaining all of the people who are lucky enough to be able to attend everything she puts together for the residents. Mickey has been invaluable in helping me to improve my penmanship.”