LC honors local caregiver

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By Tom Wilmoth

    Since helping take care of her great-grandmother as a child, Amanda Garraghty Brown knew her calling in life.

    And she does it very well.
    Each year the Beard Center on Aging at Lynchburg College recognizes professionals who have promoted positive aging in our community at its annual conference on aging in June.
    This year, Brown, a Bedford County native, was the recipient of the “Professional Caregiver of the Year” award.
    Since 2009, Brown has worked as a professional caregiver with Bedford County Nursing Home and is a Restorative Certified Nursing Assistant. In this position, she helps residents maintain optimal health and functioning. In addition to her work, she is enrolled full time in the LPN program at the Bedford Science and Technology Center.
    Brown takes pride in her work.
    She embodies the definition of dependability; she is always there for her clients and has received recognition for her perfect attendance.
    “I was very surprised, it was a great honor to win an award like that,” Brown said.
    She was nominated for the award by the administration at the Bedford County Nursing Home.
    Brown said she helped her mom take care of her great-grandmother on two occasions which fueled her desire to become a caregiver. She and her mom attended school together at BSTC in the certified nurses assistant program. Now she is in her second year of BSTC’s LPN program; she will graduate next May.
    She takes pride in her job and has great compassion for the people she takes care of.
    “I love working here with the county. I couldn’t ask for a greater group of people to work for,” she said of the staff at the county nursing home.  “It’s an excellent atmosphere. We have wonderful residents here. It’s a very nice facility.”
    Brown’s plan, after completing the LPN certification, is to go to an RN program.
    The 2002 Jefferson Forest High School graduate studied cosmetology while in high school. But she’s found her love in caregiving.
    “Anything I can do to make a difference in somebody’s life,” she said of the joy she receives from caregiving. “I have compassion for people.”
    Brown takes joy in having made a difference is someone’s life through her daily work. “If I’ve done that I feel complete,” she said. “I have so much joy in what I do.”
    Brown doesn’t miss work; she enjoys what she does too much for that.
    “I feel if you’re not here, the residents are missing out,” she said. “You have to be dedicated to your job and dedicated to what you do.”
    Brown appreciates those who nominated her for the award. Most of all, she appreciates the opportunity to be a caregiver.
    “Not everybody can do this type of job,” Brown said. “But somebody has to help; somebody has to do it. You have emotional days; you have happy days. Just to see a smile on somebody else’s face makes my day.”