Support Groups

adult helping senior in hospital

Don’t Carry the Burden Yourself

I like to think of my Caregivers as “Inspired Caregivers” because we focus on the Caregiver instead of the patient, offering a spiritual retreat from the 36-hour mental and physical responsibilities of caregiving.  I welcome ALL Caregivers responsible for a loved one regardless of the physical and/or mental illness because ALL Caregivers share so many common bonds.  Whether the patient has Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinsons, Cancer, PTSD or any other illness, ALL Caregivers face the same risks for potential burnout and emotional despair.

Julie facilitates Caregiver Support Groups on a regular basis. The groups focus on the empowerment and well-being of the caregiver.



Julie Cook Downing




Caring for a Loved One with Physical and/or Mental Illness

Date:  3rd Monday of each month
Time:  10:00 am – 11:30 am
Place: Doctors Hospital of Sarasota
Facilitator: Julie Cook Downing
Classroom outside the Cafeteria
5731 Bee Ridge Rd.
Sarasota, FL
Cost: FREE

We want to welcome you to our caregivers’ support group that focuses on you, the caregiver, offering a retreat from the never ending mental and physical responsibilities of caregiving. This free group provides compassionate support and an opportunity to explore new solutions together to caregiver challenges.

Doctors Hospital is home to the area’s only voluntary inpatient behavioral health program dedicated to the needs of adults. They offer specialized care to meet your unique needs in a private and spacious environment.

For more information, call (888) 685-1596.

FREE Monthly Veterans Lunch and Learn for Veterans’ Caregivers and the Veteran Community

Date: Every 3rd Wednesday
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Cost: FREE*

If you are caring for a family member/loved one who has served in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard during war or peace times, we want to support you.  The Veteran Community is invited when Guest Speakers participate.

In this group you will:

  • Share sacred and confidential space with others having similar concerns and challenges
  • Have a relaxed retreat from the 36-hour mental and/or physical responsibilities of caregiving
  • Learn about Benefits for Veterans from Guest Speakers

*Event is FREE, however, you must pre-register by emailing your name and telephone number to OR call (941) 360-3580 and reference this support group.

FREE Monthly Caregiver Support Group

Date:Every Third Monday
Time: 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Place: The Sheridan – Lakewood Ranch, see flyer below
Facilitator: Julie Cook Downing

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ARAVILLA (formerly) Autumn of Sarasota

Julie Cook Downing as President of Caregivers Comfort Creations LLC and as a Cornerstone LifeCare consultant is available as a one-on-one Family Caregiver Advisor/Advocate
if you have caregiving responsibilities for a loved one with physical or mental illness
See the information posted