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La Jolla Nurses Homecare ready to celebrate 45 years of ‘vision and high standards’

La Jolla Nurses Homecare founder Lorraine Salerno and her daughter and current owner Brittnei Salerno
La Jolla Nurses Homecare founder Lorraine Salerno is pictured with her daughter and current owner Brittnei Salerno before Lorraine’s death in 2012.
(Courtesy of La Jolla Nurses Homecare)

Business Spotlight:

Early next year, La Jolla Nurses Homecare will celebrate 45 years of serving senior citizens and others in need of care who want to stay in the comfort of their homes. While a lot has changed since the agency opened, a lot has stayed the same.

La Jolla Nurses Homecare provides caregivers, personal aides and companions for help in activities of daily living, such as housekeeping, shopping, escort, personal care, safety supervision, respite care for families and more. It also provides licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses for more advanced services.

Started in 1977 by Lorraine Salerno, who died in 2012, La Jolla Nurses Homecare is now owned by her daughter Brittnei. It is considered the oldest private duty agency in San Diego County.

“I feel really proud to be carrying on the legacy my mom started almost 45 years ago,” Brittnei Salerno said. “She had a thought back then about a need in the community in terms of the care that people needed. That’s what we provide.

“Our tenure speaks a lot for us. To be able to continue to provide these levels of service for so long is extremely rewarding.”

Salerno estimates La Jolla Nurses Homecare has helped tens of thousands of people.

“When we come into a situation where the family is in a state of chaos … we organize that [situation],” she said. “We come to the scene and sort out the level of care the person will need, what might benefit them and get things rolling. To see the relief the family members feel is rewarding.”

La Jolla Nurses Homecare never closes and does not use an answering service for after-hours calls. It also offers has a 100 percent customer satisfaction policy.

When the organization started, Salerno said, many of the services were in line with current Medicare-related offerings. Staff members would be deployed for short visits when someone had surgery to help with physical therapy or basic needs.

“The model has changed a little bit because the industry has changed,” Salerno said. “There is more we have to abide by now that wasn’t in place before, which is a good thing. When my mom opened the office, it was a one-room space on upper Girard Avenue and rent cost $75 a month in the very early days. When she first started, no one knew what home care was. It was more of a cottage industry, but it’s grown because people are more aware of it.”

What hasn’t changed is “the vision and high standards my mom instilled from Day 1,” she said. “Her vision was for those that wanted to stay home to be able to do so and have access to safe and reliable care. Many times, patients need help with the day-to-day living, getting showered or going grocery shopping. The acuity of care can go up from there. Our staff can do the short visits or visit around the clock. … Some patients need help for a short time and others for the long term.”

La Jolla Nurses Homecare is at 2223 Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla. For more information, call (833) 395-5755 or visit lajollanurseshomecare.com.

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