America’s caregivers need a system that works for them. We can’t afford to waste this opportunity to move care forward.
Heroes of caregiving
As the backbone of their families, communities, and the economy, caregivers need support from employers and policymakers. Meet a few caregivers finding ways to navigate a system that wasn’t designed for them.
He cares for his daughter, Anna, who was diagnosed with epilepsy at six months old.
See their story
Marc cares for his daughter, Anna, who has suffered from epilepsy since she was six months old. While a brain surgery has allowed Anna to live a life similar to her peers, the whole family knows that her seizures could come back at any time without warning. Marc spends his days managing Anna’s day-to-day needs, like medication and a healthy diet, but the hardest part is the constant vigilance.
“It’s watching her from a distance, knowing always where the rescue med is in the house, reacting to bumps in the night, peeking into the bedroom to see if she’s asleep,” he said. “It’s a looming pressure…”
She uprooted her life to care for her mom, Ramona, who has Alzheimer’s disease.
See their story
When Johana Vallejos retired from teaching, she moved to Florida to be closer to her parents, Jesus and Ramona. Ramona is in her mid-nineties, has Alzheimer's, and hasn’t walked for a number of years. Johana not only provides for Ramona’s physical needs but also makes all the big and small decisions regarding her care. When Johana isn't by her mother’s side, she is on the phone making doctor's appointments, picking up prescriptions, or driving other family members around.
The strain is starting to wear on Johana and Jesus. The family has tried to employ a live-in caretaker, but it’s hard to find someone who is both affordable and qualified.
She cares for her daughters, Kami and Kyra, who have sickle cell disease.
See their story
Dana Jones, 39, is the single mother of two daughters--Kyra, 15, and Kami, 16--both born with sickle cell disease. Dana has been a tireless caretaker, chronicling thousands of doctor’s visits in notes carefully filed in thick binders, tracking the girls’ medications, advocating for them at school, and checking on them repeatedly in case they have a seizure.
In the midst of the pandemic, Kyra had to go to the hospital with excruciating pain in both legs, from ankle to hip. Dana slept by her side.
A single mother, she cares for her son, Gabriel, on top of her full-time job.
See their story
Kathleen Jones, a 32-year-old single mother from Washington DC, works full time. When the pandemic forced daycare closures, she became a full-time caregiver, too.
For months, Kathleen worked her job with the federal government from home for 40 + hours a week while attending to every need of a temperamental 3-year-old. She became his cook, housekeeper, nurse, potty trainer, teacher, and constant playmate, all while managing normal job stressors and rising anxiety.
She cares for her mother, Carmen, who has diabetes and Parkinson's disease.
See their story
66-year-old Teresa left her job as a recreational therapist when the COVID-19 pandemic made her fear for her safety. While she was in career transition, one of her mother’s caregivers left and she willingly stepped in to take care of her mom, who suffers from diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, and anxiety. When her mom contracted COVID-19, Teresa risked her own health to stay by her side for 18 straight days. While Teresa appreciates the time she gets to spend with her mother, she also works hard to prioritize her own wellbeing, exercising and journaling every day.
She cares for her son, Amari, who has autism.
See their story
Shayana Ball, 29, is a single mother of 4-year-old Amari. By the time Amari was 1, it was clear he wasn’t developing in the same way as other children. He was missing key developmental milestones and wasn’t moving or communicating like his peers. Eventually, Amari was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Shayana has been emotionally drained by having to navigate raising her son while also working full-time. She says she feels isolated from her community due to her son’s disability.
She is a mother, foster parent, activist, and a devoted caregiver.
See their story
Trelawney has cared for almost 30 children from the foster system, eight of whom she’s adopted and raised on her own “I just wanted to help a kid out,” she explained. “All they need is a start.”
Her older children have moved out by now, but they still visit regularly. On Sunday nights, Trelawney’s house is full of family who have come by for a plate and a laugh. “I just want to look out for the kids, give them something to do, opportunities, and a chance for a happy future,” she said.
REIMAGINE CARE IN AMERICA
Move Care Forward
Please enter a valid email.
Sign up to receive email updates from Pivotal Ventures.
Meeting caregivers where they are
Of caregivers feel isolated and unsupported. It’s time to make care work more visible and normalize the need to ask for help.
Is how much time the average caregiver spends on unpaid caregiving each week. It’s time to invest in new tools and services that make those day-to-day tasks faster and easier.
Of caregivers sacrifice their own ambitions and wellbeing to care for a loved one. It’s time to implement public policies to make child and long-term care more affordable and accessible.
We invest in organizations that are designing innovative solutions, advocating for transformative policies, and reimagining the future of caregiving to make it healthier, more sustainable, and equitable for all. Check out these resources from a few of our partners.
A national movement transforming care so that everyone can live, work, care for one another, and age with dignity.
Caring Across Generations is a national movement of families, caregivers, people with disabilities, and aging Americans working to transform the way we care in this country.
By harnessing the power of online and grassroots organizing and culture change work, Caring Across Generations works to shift how our nation values caregiving and advocates for policy solutions that enable all of us to live well and age with dignity.
Our current patchwork of care systems, built on the unpaid work of women, especially Black and Brown women and immigrants, leaves families with care needs to fend for themselves and reinforces the cultural norms that care is the individual responsibility rather than a collective issue that requires community- and public-level solutions. Caregivers and care recipients often have to scramble to make it work in the face of impossible choices and feel isolated and alone.
But caregivers and their families aren’t alone – there are 53 million of us caring for a family member in the United States. That's why we’re building a collective movement, sharing our stories, shifting culture, and channeling our power towards structural change and building the just and caring future we all want to live in.
The Holding Co. is building the future of care. We design products, brands, and experiences revolutionizing how we care for our kids and elders and manage family life.
The Holding Co. is a lab funded by Pivotal Ventures, a Melinda French Gates company, to redesign how we care for each other in the 21st century.
It designs products, brands, and experiences revolutionizing how we care for our kids and elders and manage family life, partnering with the organizations designing, building, and scaling our modern care system, from fast growing start-ups to multinationals and government agencies to nonprofits.
The Holding Co. also works to bring more innovation and attention to the care economy at large—from quantifying the market opportunity to convening the leaders building our modern care system.
The Care Guild: The Care Guild spotlights a list of the people doing the most to reimagine and rehumanize our care system. You’ll find everyone from policy renegades to direct service providers, from tech entrepreneurs to documentary filmmakers.
A venture capital firm investing in founders leading the digital transformation of how we live, work, and care for one another.
Magnify Ventures, anchored by Pivotal Ventures, a Melinda French Gates company, invests in early-stage technology companies that are revolutionizing the care economy, including parenting and family life, the future of work, household optimization, and aging and longevity.
The firm invests in visionary leaders building breakthrough technology companies that reimagine life for modern families, from childbirth to end-of-life, revolutionizing the $648 billion care economy. Their founders are inspired by their lived experiences – as parents and caregivers – to leverage technology to solve long overlooked challenges for families of all types.
The firm was founded by Julie Wroblewski, an investor and advisor with institutional-scale family offices and mission-focused organizations, and Joanna Drake, a serial company builder and entrepreneurial venture investor. The firm was founded by Julie Wroblewski, an investor and advisor with institutional-scale family offices and mission-focused organizations, and Joanna Drake, a serial company builder and entrepreneurial venture investor.