Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Foundation of America

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Names Rene Knight, of Corvallis, Oregon, its 2018 Dementia Care Professional of the Year

NEW YORK (October 26, 2018) —  The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is proud to announce that Rene Knight, Director of Operations for Grace Center for Adult Day Services, in Corvallis, Oregon, has been named its 2018 “Dementia Care Professional of the Year.” The honor is awarded annually to individuals who have demonstrated professional excellence in care, compassionate performance above and beyond expectations, and a dedicated commitment to individuals living with dementia.

“Every day, there are devoted, skilled professionals who go above and beyond to provide exceptional care for those individuals living with dementia,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Rene is a hard-working, compassionate caregiver who works tirelessly to put her clients’ needs first. She exemplifies the dedication and devotion to serving individuals living with dementia, their family, staff, and the community, which this distinction represents. Congratulations to Rene on achieving this honor.

“As Director of Operations for Oregon’s leading adult day center – Grace Center for Adult Day Services, I’m honored to receive the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Dementia Care Professional of the Year award,” said Rene Knight.  “I feel so fortunate to be granted the opportunity to provide comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias.  I appreciate the value of supporting people with dementia to live a rich and rewarding life and by changing the way our culture views aging, we can create a meaningful life for all to remain integrated in community.”

Rene has more than 25 years of experience.  She has been with Grace Center for Adult Day Services for more than 11 years, starting out as an Office Coordinator. At the day-based care facility, specializing in memory care, Rene manages a staff that provides a variety of daytime services for seniors and adults with disabilities and age-related conditions, including social activities, exercise, health monitoring, medication management, social services, art, music, and animal therapy, and respite care for the clients and their families. Rene runs the Center’s day-to-day operations.  She has also played an instrumental role serving as a mentor to interns and junior staff.

In her current role, Rene develops successful models of care and intervention.  Under Rene’s leadership, the Center helps to optimize the cognitive and physical abilities of seniors and adults with disabilities so they can remain as independent as possible and in their homes.  She has implemented new program features such as a controlled, multi-sensory therapy room (MSE) so that they can provide non-pharmaceutical intervention for participant behaviors.

According to her colleagues who nominated her for the award, Rene is known for her positive impact on families and colleagues, and her extraordinary service to clients.  She is also known to be diligent in making sure that all of the Center’s participants are being cared for and are thriving.  She is a certified Dementia Care Specialist who holds a Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Southern California Davis School of Gerontology.  She is also a certified Cognitive Stimulation instructor.

AFA has awarded Dementia Care Professional of the Year annually since 2007. Past winners have included doctors, support group facilitators, and program and executive directors of Alzheimer’s centers.

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