First reported in The Media
By Kevin Fox
On Tuesday, July 28, Delma Smith was honored by being named “Activities Director of The Year”, by the North Missouri Activities Director Association of Missouri. Delma was recommended by Tammy Ramsey (Administrator) with assistance from Myranda Armstrong (Office Manager) of the Clark County Nursing Home.
Every year the various chapters hold a meeting were awards are presented honoring its members. This year the meeting was held in Memphis and there are approximately 16 Activity Director members in the North.
Delma stated that the honor was a complete surprise. She added, “Prior to presenting the award they read the letter which Tammy and Myranda had written. They said some very nice things about me that I greatly appreciated and am honored by!”
The following is the letter submitted by Tammy Ramsey along with assistance from Myranda Armstrong.
After days of planning, the exciting moment has arrived! A long row of tables stretches the length of the back parking lot. The tables hold 50 feet of foil-lined guttering to serve as a trough. Has the activity director gone bananas? Well, sort of. She’s just going above and beyond like always to help residents enjoy National Banana Split Day with nothing less than a 50 foot banana split! This was one of many events our activity director planned and coordinated over the last year bringing employees from all departments together to enjoy an activity with residents. This activity was even featured in McKnight’s Magazine article A Day in the Life.
Our activity director began working in our home 28 years ago as a CNA. She worked her way to the activity’s department and became the director in 1995. Since then, she has touched the lives of many residents and their families with her kind-heartedness and creativity as the activity director.
Our home is located in a small rural community. Several of our residents were born and raised here, and our activity director does a wonderful job keeping our residents involved with the community. Wagon rides during the annual Mule Festival, hosting the Boy Scout’s Pinewood Derby, filling Easter eggs with the local 4-H members for the Sherriff’s Department, holding the high school Prom Stroll, and passing out candy for trick-or-treat are just a few of the activities held in our home that allow residents to interact with other community members.
Relay for Life is a popular charity in our community and the nursing home has their own team which is proudly led by our activity director. She plans fundraisers that allow residents to participate including building a stuffed animal, where the residents helped children make their own stuffed animal and also a tea party with special guest, Elsa, from the Disney movie Frozen.
Throughout the year our residents celebrate every holiday our activity director can dream up! Residents can participate in special activities for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, Nursing Home Week, Veteran’s Day, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Christmas is a very personable celebration because the activity director and her assistants go shopping and buy a special gift for each resident. She develops an Angel Tree in which community members can buy gifts for residents. Our local VFW and the Combat Veteran’s Motorcycle Association coordinate with our activity director to buy gifts for the residents also. Residents are always touched by the acts of kindness our activity director does.
Music often fills the hallways in our home. Residents enjoy all the performers the activity director schedules for entertainment. The Head-start children come frequently to sing to the residents and Keosippi Kickers visit and show off their dancing skills. Planning ahead like always, our activity director applied for and received a grant for the program, Alive Inside, where residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia can have customized playlists of their favorite music available on MP3 players to listen anytime they want. This is just one of the wonderful things residents can look forward to in the upcoming year.
With all of the exciting activities going on within our home, our activity director makes sure to promote the facility with a positive notion. She is always updating our Facebook page with pictures of our events. She also sends out a monthly newsletter to residents’ families so they can join in on the fun.
I am truly thankful for the wonderful activity director our home is blessed with. She cares for the residents as if they are her own family. No matter how exhausted she may be from the countless hours she spends planning and executing activities, she always wears a smile and always has time for our residents. This is why I feel our activity director, Delma Smith, deserves to be the Activity Director of the Year!
Please consider my nomination,
As Activities Director Delma plans a month calendar for the nursing home and the residential care facility. She invites various entertainment for the month and schedule when those people can be there.
She added, “We try to have something everyday for our residents. You must also stay flexible because you can make plans, but sometimes those plans must be changed. You also must know that while I’m the Director I have two assistants who help me. They are Tiffany Kirchner and Jan Wyrick. But the entire staff gets involved in the activities here. But what I am most proud of is that it’s not that we just have things for the residents to do, but that we have things which the residents enjoy doing and look forward to becoming involved in. Among the things which we have on a regular basis is church services in the evenings, Sunday School, Bible study, Hymn sings, and an exercise program. We have an excellent group of volunteers , some of which come out everyday. I really do enjoy being Activities Director and the people and the residents are all fantastic. Of course we become very close to the residents some of them were our neighbors, teachers or went to our churches so we knew them before they ever came to the home. Because of that closeness it is very difficult when someone passes away because we really do become a big family out here. And it’s always fun to hear the many stories that the residents tell. For example, one of our residents shared their story about the Clark County Fair when they used to ride a train to Kahoka and get off the train to attend the fair. The day before their mother would cook a lot of food so they could eat it at the fair. Just so many great stories.”
Delma was named Activities Director in 1995. Prior to that she was the Assistant Activities Director for five years, and had worked at the home four years prior to that. Currently Delma is the Missouri State Activities President, and will retire from that position in September.