Steffi Gaines &
A Better Way in Home Care is a private caregiving referral agency that provides hourly and live-in assistance for clients. Caregivers offer companionship, meal preparation, personal grooming, transportation, light housekeeping and other caregiving services, and assistance during recovery from surgery. A Better Way is operated by mother-and-daughter team Steffi Gaines and Devyn Reggio.
Prior to opening A Better Way in Home Care in 1998, Steffi Gaines worked at the United College of Business assisting refugees new to the U.S. She also worked with the disabled in her position at Handcraft Industries. Devyn Reggio joined A Better Way while attending UCLA and has remained with the agency for the past 22 years.
What is your best piece of advice for a woman just starting in your line of work?
“Make friends with your fear, then keep it in perspective. It’s natural to have some doubt when you’re starting a new business. It’s important to balance that doubt by realizing we often know more than we think we do to succeed. Trust your instincts, and keep yourself open to practical guidance. Listen, learn, then go with your own unique flow. Ours is a business that relies on human connection.”
How would clients describe you?
Steffi: “I think clients would describe me as an open book. When I’m trying to match a caregiver for a client, I have to ask personal questions in terms of what the patient’s current health situation is and what their lifestyle is like. To help encourage communication, I often share aspects of my life. My shared experiences can help a client feel more comfortable with sharing theirs. For instance, being a cancer survivor allows me to better understand a client facing a life-threatening illness. The openness is a bridge to build trust.”
What is on your bucket list?
Devyn: “Once the world reopens on a wider scale, more family travel is high on my bucket list. I have three young sons, and the trips we take together as a family are not only chock-full of wonderful memories that will last a lifetime, but they’re also great educational experiences. Seeing and experiencing different cultures is a gift I hope to continue to give to them.”
How do you encourage greatness in your team?
Steffi: “By giving them free rein to do what they do best. I often say when it comes to talent, I hire people whose strengths are my weaknesses. It makes for a rewarding balance and a better team effort.”