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  • Writer's pictureNicole Will

Resilience, Reluctance, and Sisterhood


caregiver support aging parents willgather podcast

Resilience, Reluctance, and Sisterhood with Natalie Elliott Handy & J.J. Elliott Hill, Founders of Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver Podcast & Sisterhood of Care



These sisters have captivated my attention, and I believe they will captivate yours too. They are the ultimate hype women for a journey that none of us expected to be in. Natalie Elliott Handy, J.J. Elliott Hill, and Emilie Elliott are the founders of the Sisterhood of Care, an organization offering caregivers a safe place to relate, learn, be inspired, find help, and obtain the critical resources needed to support their loved ones while also maintaining their sense of self. They share all the good, challenging, hard, humorous, and confessional moments on their podcast, Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver.

The sisters are caregivers for their mother, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. They have experienced a roller coaster of emotions, and their lives have been turned upside down. They stepped in to support their mom during a medical crisis and knew it was time to make a change. In this episode, we talk about their story, why they started the podcast, how they knew it was time to move their mom, the unique challenges and rewards of caregiving with siblings, the impact caregiving has on the family, how to be a powerful advocate for your loved ones, how we show up in caregiving when we are long-distance, and the many ways we can take our story and see change and be a powerful force for good. You don't want to miss this episode. The sisters have become very dear to me, and I believe in the power of community when we can all come together and support each other. Thank you, Natalie and J.J.!


Natalie and JJ share about:

  • The sisters' experience as caregivers for their mother with Parkinson's disease

  • Their decision to step in and support their mother during a medical crisis

  • The unique challenges and rewards of caregiving with siblings

  • The impact caregiving has on the family

  • How to be a powerful advocate for your loved ones

  • Coping with caregiving from a long-distance perspective

  • Their personal story and reasons for starting the podcast "Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver"

  • The many ways their story can inspire and bring about positive change

  • The power of community support in caregiving

  • Their newest initiative Care Forward- which will connect caregivers that have needs with those that have time, talents and resources




About the Sisters & Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver


"Offering a candid, unfiltered space to confess the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a caregiver, the sisters harness the power of relationships and technology to relate, educate, inspire, and provide resources to individuals of all ages. Through storytelling, guest interviews and information sharing, JJ, Natalie, and Emilie, along with their guests, discuss their shared experiences. Viewers and listeners alike will relate to our reluctance, be affirmed in their ability to be a caregiver themselves, and gain the courage to step out of the shadows to confidently express their own needs. Caregivers are sure to laugh, cry, and everything in between but in the end, all will leave feeling better for the journey and part of the sisterhood of care."


Natalie Elliott Handy, MSW, is a seasoned healthcare executive with 24+ years in the health and human services industry. Natalie joined the Health Connect America team in January 2023 where she serves as the Vice President of Government Affairs and Advocacy. Prior to coming to HCA, Natalie served as CEO of Intercept Health.


A servant at heart, Natalie takes pride in being seen as a mental health concierge, helping families and agencies navigate the system to find the most appropriate service. She believes in the power of advocacy, using her voice and position to bring macro level change on the local, state, and federal levels, serving on committees, task forces, planning groups, associations, and boards. In August 2022, she was honored to be appointed by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin to serve on the State Executive Council for Children’s Services. Natalie has a passion for training, offering education and information to positively impact others, both internally and to the community at large.


Originally from outside Knoxville, TN, Natalie currently lives in Roanoke, Virginia with her husband Jason and fur children, Winston the Bulldog and Daisy the Beagle. When Natalie’s not working or spending time with Jason, Winston, or Daisy, you’ll find her collaborating with her sisters on their podcast, Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver. Natalie, alongside sisters JJ Elliott-Hill and Emilie Elliott, founded the Sisterhood of Care, an organization offering caregivers a safe place to relate, learn, be inspired, find hope, and obtain the critical resources needed to support their loved one while also maintaining their sense of self. Caregivers themselves, their passion project is intended to offer support, resources, and information to caregivers and the community via their podcast, website, and social media sites.


J.J. Elliott Hill trained for a career in finance, working over 17 years consulting with business and

commercial clients. In March 2013, she found herself downsized, jobless and disinterested in

furthering a career in banking. Following a few months of self-pity, she partnered up full time with her

fiancé to turn their basement hobby shop into a retail store in Greensboro, NC. By November 2013

she was selling Nemo and Dory for a living! Over the next 4 years, the business grew from a small,

rented space to a 10,000sq ft building purchased to operate the aquarium retail, service, and custom

design company. 

 

She spent the next 12 years as a managing partner for the retail and service company, along with a

manufacturing start-up, two residential rental companies, and a commercial real estate company –

all at the same time. In August 2022, the aquarium retail store was sold and a new business in

wholesale fish collection was opened in Florida.  


J.J. received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Hollins College and her Master of Business

Administration in Executive Management Studies from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is

a candidate for the CCC, CCE and CCF Certificates from The Caregiving Years Academy in May

2023. 

 

She calls home base the Florida Keys with her husband Dexter and their dog, Oscar. But much of

her heart is in North Carolina with grandsons, Eli & Tommy.





*This episode is brought to you by Gigi Betty co. A boutique gift shop raising awareness and funds for caregivers and care partners. Show now at www.gigibettyco.com. Use the special code WILLGATHER20 for 20% off your order- Just for our podcast listeners!


LISTEN NOW: Apple Podcasts, Spotify & on your favorite podcast platform.


We are not medical professionals and are not providing any medical advice. If you have any medical questions, we recommend that you talk with a medical professional of your choice. willGather has taken care in selecting its speakers but the opinions of our speakers are theirs alone. Thank you for your continued interest in our podcasts.


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Nicole Will is our host and founder of willGather.


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