“With a corporate background, I have to say that being a caregiver is the hardest job in the world,” shares Julie Cook Downing, president of Caregivers’ Comfort Creations, LLC. Her journey began in 1995, when her beloved mother began showing early signs of Alzheimer’s. From caring for her parents and other family members for three decades to becoming a resource to support and guide caregivers through their journey, Julie wants to ensure caregivers know they are not alone. Although they are giving the greatest gift of all, unfortunately, statistics show that one-third of caregivers are depressed, and it is possible numbers may currently be higher.
Julie’s personal experience as a caregiver solidified her need to empower, support and share the message that it is crucial to make yourself a priority too. At the Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, she leads support groups focused on highly interactive topics that allow participants to leave with new information while also feeling appreciated for how great they are. With a passion for the military, Julie also has one of the only veterans’ caregiver support groups in Sarasota.
Not only does she offer support groups, consultant placements and a published Daily Journal on her personal experience when caring for her parents, but she has also created a tool to support others while fundraising for The Longest Day.
The Caregivers’ Comfort Calendar is an at-home resource that acts as both a support system and guidebook that allows you to list appointments, medications, observations, activities and more. What makes it unique are the encouraging statements within that provide additional support and kindness through one’s caregiving journey, such as, “Grant me the insight today to transform chaos into comfort.”
Julie also raises money for the Alzheimer’s Association for anyone who uses the promo code TLD when purchasing select items. For details, visit Julie’s The Longest Day Fundraising initiative.
We thank Julie for sharing her personal journey and transforming her expertise into resources for those who need additional strength and support as a caregiver.
Remember, you are not alone. Visit alz.org/TheLongestDay to join The Longest Day community in the fight for an Alzheimer’s cure.