Essentials of Caregiving – Learning to be a Caregiver

Event Date & Time

February 23, 2024 at 1:00 PM


555 Funston Pl San Antonio, TX 78209

Event Details:
Whether you have recently taken on the new role of a family caregiver or have been established in the position for some time, this session is a beneficial resource as you navigate the experience of caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia diagnosis.


  • Overview of dementia and progression of the disease
  • Discuss areas important to taking on this new role
  • Describe strategies to support caregivers in the new role
  • Discuss strategies for telling others about the diagnosis


This presentation is being provided in partnership with San Antonio Botanical Garden and Arden Courts.

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About the Speaker(s)

Rudy Gomez served the UTHSCSA School of Nursing for 41 years in various non-clinical support positions before retiring. He was married to his wife Barbara for almost 51 years until her passing in 2023. In 2016, Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Dementia, which started their 7-year-long journey with the disease. Initially, Barbara did not want to share her diagnosis with anyone outside of their immediate family due to the negative stigma attached to Alzheimer's. They sought help from the Caring for the Caregiver program, which offered support and guidance in navigating healthcare services. Rudy believes that the Caring for the Caregiver program is the best-kept secret in San Antonio.

Thomas Brittian is a 57-year-old retired policeman who has transitioned into the role of a full-time caregiver. He is a married father of four children committed to his family. For the past 5.5 years, Thomas has dedicated time and energy to providing compassionate care for his beloved mother. His diverse background in law enforcement has equipped him with valuable skills that apply to ensure the well-being and comfort of his loved ones in his caregiving journey.


In 2015, Kiki Foster and her husband Michael participated in an organization run by the Northside Independent School District that helps families caring for individuals with dementia to help their community. Her caregiver journey began in 2018 when Michael visited an ophthalmologist for vision issues and was recommended to go to a primary care provider for further evaluation to confirm a diagnosis of dementia. By September of the same year, they started participating in the Caring for the Caregiver program. Through this program, they learned to focus on living life rather than the diagnosis by improving their communication, coping skills, and language techniques to connect better to each other and the community.

Sheran Rivette is the Family Caregiver Specialist in the Caring for the Caregiver program since 2018. She has over 40 years of experience in healthcare and has been a caregiver for her special needs son for more than 50 years. She also cared for her husband during their ten-year journey with Alzheimer's. She supports fellow caregivers by providing education and empathetic support, emphasizing the importance of self-care. She finds strength in her faith in God.


JoAnn Sharman is a dedicated Registered Nurse with 39 years of expertise in cardiology and caregiving. Her compassionate and patient-centered approach empowers individuals to manage their health. Actively contributing to the Caring for the Caregiver Program, she enhances the quality of life for family caregivers through evidence-based education and support. JoAnn's firsthand understanding of caregiver challenges, drawn from assisting her daughter with a disability, adds a unique depth to her commitment to improving well-being and quality of life.