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Alumni Profiles

Kristy Knox

Kristy Knox

Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies
Year of Graduation: 1999
Program: Social Service Worker - Gerontology

Caring for the Caregiver

A smile a day keeps Kristy Knox motivated and energizes her for her next day at work.  
“The smile I see on our guests’ faces, and the relief that the caregivers are afforded make every day a good day, regardless of the challenges I may have faced,” says the Respite Manager with Alzheimer Society Peel.

For more than a decade, Kristy has been helping relieve pressure on families by providing short-term breathers to those caring for individuals with dementia.“Respite for the caregiver is instrumental in keeping people living with dementia in their community and out of long-term care facilities for a longer period of time,” she says, explaining that the program allows caregivers the necessary breaks to focus on themselves, their needs and health.

Kristy joined Alzheimer Society Peel as a program worker in 2002, following three years as a residential counsellor at Community Living, Oakville, where she completed her placement as part of Sheridan’s Social Service Worker program.

In 2005, Kristy started working at Nora’s House Respite Care, owned and operated by Alzheimer Society Peel, eventually becoming Respite Manager. In 2015, Nora’s House, which offers multiple services, including and overnight respite program, for both the individual with dementia and their families, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. “I have been with the house since its opening and am very proud of all the amazing work we have done over the years and continue to do,” says the 1999 grad.

Kristy is also happy to report that many hires in the past few years have been Sheridan alumni. Sheridan students regularly benefit from placements under her management, gaining mentorship and a realistic view of what working in the field is like.

A proponent of lifelong learning, Kristy returned to school part time and completed her BA in Disability Studies from Ryerson University in 2007. “I think it’s very important for people to continue to learn and grow throughout their career,” she says, encouraging grads from the Gerontology program to continue studying beyond college.

Kristy sees the demand for respite workers rising in the next few years. For caregivers to be able to support their loved ones at home, they will need respite care, day programs and counselling. “With the baby boomers approaching the stage in their lives where they will be using these services, community care will begin to play a bigger role in the care of the elderly.”

By Mehreen Shahid