Meet Lia Smith of A Better Solution Home Care & Nursing in Mission Valley
Today we’d like to introduce you to Lia Smith.
Lia , please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 1985 I became a Certified Nursing Assistant working with seniors in nursing homes in Chula Vista, later I moved into working within an agency taking care of seniors in their homes helping them to remain independent. I enjoyed working with the Senior population, I still enjoy listening to them and helping them on a daily basis; to me they are the Generation that raised us and still today I feel that they are often forgotten or not represented in Politics, Medicine and other considerations. in 1990 I was given a promotion from caregiver to inside office staffing, I worked for a large home care agency eventually managing the office and training the caregivers. Once that agency began to close I opened my own agency in April of 2000, called A Better Solution In Home Care, Inc. with the idea that we would give excellent service at an economical price. We established no cost client management services and became very active in the political arena. I am the past Chair for the San Diego Regional Home Care Council, and I am one of the first African Americans to represent Private Duty Home Care at the state level, I am on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home, and have been a part of many grassroots efforts; speaking to Senators, Assembly members, and other legislators trying to keep costs low for our seniors.
In 2015 A Better Solution began to Franchise our Concept and we currently have locations in San Diego. Riverside, and Claremont California, as well as Wichita Kansas, and Denver Colorado. We are now a Nursing Agency and recently became a Medicare Certified Agency With extended Therapy Services. We have a small 6 bed Assisted living Estate in Jamul California for Seniors who cannot remain at home, and we have developed a Nursing and Caregiver Website called ABSSeniorcare.com where the family can post an ad for a nurse for only $25. Through it all, I have maintained my vision providing Seniors with the best care available to allow them to remain safely and securely at home.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been the easiest 17 years, many changes in the law and regulations have caused our business to falter, in 2014 California removed the companion exemption and created regulations that required caregivers to be paid overtime increasing costs to Seniors almost 75%, also in 2015 The Mendiola Vs. Security Companies caused a very affordable care option called Live In to cease to exist, as the industry was paying a flat rate of a 16hour rate to caregivers and clients were able to afford 24hour care at a fraction of the cost; it went from $200 per day to over $575 per day causing us to lose over 60% of our business.
We began to recover almost 2 years later but it took some very lean times. Also with a background in caregiving not the business the learning curve for me was sharp, so I made many mistakes along the way, resulting in a lawsuit, as well as an audit that financially almost required bankruptcy. Through it all, I have been open to learn from every experience and understand so many more of the business requirements and the subtle management techniques that may come easier to some; I have used my experiences to train my newer Franchise systems about what to do and what not to do, so every Obstacle has turned into a blessing.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with A Better Solution Home Care & Nursing, Inc. – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
A Better Solution is a Home Care and Nursing Agency that has been in business for over 17 years. We specialize in the ability to provide Seniors and their family with Skilled Caregivers and Nurses very quickly upon request, we are very well known in San Diego County as having a very large staff and maintaining integrity in our service. We work with other agencies to ensure our Seniors and their family get the best care available and we are highly active in the Community; we are the “Go To” for information regarding laws and regulations for Home Care.
What sets us apart from other than above, is that we are a one-stop shop, with a full continuum of care, from private pay to Medicare we are able to accept all forms of payment and provide all levels of service. Also being a Franchise training Center allows those who purchase a Territory with our brand to work side by side with the President of our Company and are guaranteed extensive training.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I was born in Balboa Hospital, so I am not just a California, but a San Diego Native, my father was a Commander in the United States Navy and my mother was the first African American School Board member of Imperial Beach, California. What do I love about this city? I can make a difference here, I can make this city a better place, I provide jobs to over 200 caregivers and Nurses in San Diego County and have Serviced over 30,000 Seniors in the last 17 years. I love being here. I love doing good things here. It is important for me to have a positive impact on everyone I can reach, and I learned that here, in San Diego.
- Caregivers/ Nursing Assistants from $23 per hour
- Single Room Assisted Living from $5000 per month (24hour nursing care)
- Franchise Fee $42,750
- Nursing Care under a Doctors Order — Covered By Medicare
- Helping a Senior find a Senior Community No Charge
- Safety or Care Assesment of needs No Charge