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Amanda Gruber, Household Coordinator at Three Links, Named Caregiver of the Year

Amanda Gruber, a Household Coordinator at Three Links Northfield, has been named the Caregiver of the Year by LeadingAge Minnesota. The award was presented to Amanda during last week’s Institute & Expo by Governor Tim Walz. 

“Amanda Gruber not only cares for her residents and their families, but also her co-workers. She is the heart and soul of the Pathway Dementia Neighborhood at Three Links in Northfield. It is my privilege to present Amanda with the Caregiver of the Year award,” said Governor Tim Walz. 

Watch the Caregiver of the Year award ceremony.

The Caregiver of the Year award honors an individual who demonstrates exceptional commitment to seniors and enhances and enriches the quality of life of those they serve. 

“Every day I am amazed at how caregivers put others needs before their own. I realized this award is to bring recognition to every caregiver and I am humbled by this opportunity to represent such an amazing group. I have been blessed to know some of the greatest mentors and role models in the world,” said Amanda Gruber.

LeadingAge Minnesota President & CEO Gayle Kvenvold said Amanda’s excellence as a caregiver, devotion to her co-workers, and commitment to the residents and families she serves is unparalleled among her peers in the field of aging services.

“Amanda is an exceptional caregiver who embraces the joys and challenges of caregiving. Her heart is evident in her work and her creativity in life enrichment activities for residents in memory care is the epitome of person-centered care, ensuring respect, purpose and dignity for each individual,” said Gayle Kvenvold.

Amanda’s achievement also received a letter of commendation for U.S. Senator Tina Smith who wrote: “After learning about your dedication to serving seniors in Minnesota, I can’t imagine a more fitting recipient of the Caregiver of the Year Award. Your commitment as a caregiver warrants the highest honor awarded to Minnesota caregivers who dedicated their lives and careers to serving older adults. Thank you for making a difference for individuals, families and the health of Minnesota”

Amanda first joined Three Links as a nursing assistant in 2007 and now serves as a household coordinator for Pathways, a 24-bed secure memory care unit. Shortly after beginning her career at Three Links, Amanda took advantage of educational opportunities to improve the care she provides and advance her career pathway. She completed the Health Support Specialist Apprenticeship program and now serves as the site coordinator at Three Links, nurturing the career development of those around her while transforming the way the organization serves older adults.

Amanda is motivated to give each resident their best day and has customized programs, services and activities based on each resident’s preferences, so they experience the highest quality of life. She includes residents and their families in planning life enrichment activities so that each resident benefits from the activity in some way. Gruber recently started Google Maps trips where she meets with residents and families to talk about where they grew up, spent a significant amount of time when they were younger, or places they have worked or traveled. She then “maps out” trips that the residents travel via an iPad while reminiscing about their favorite places and memories. 

As a family caregiver to her 85-year-old father, Gruber knows and understands the valuable role family members have in the care of their loved ones. She makes it a priority to collaborate with families to better understand the interests, needs and preferences of their loved ones and uses that information to improve the care she and Three Links provide. Gruber also makes sure to share both the positive outcomes their loved one is achieving as well as a change in their health and wellness.

In addition to her role at Three Links, Gruber is also involved in special projects throughout the broader Three Links organization and is an active volunteer in the Northfield Community, including participation in the Alzheimer’s Association and Age-Friendly Northfield.

To learn more about Amanda, watch Amanda Gruber – Caregiver of the Year.

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