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Q&A on Care with Wendy

In our new series, Q&A on Care with Wendy, our Executive Director and Co-Owner Wendy Adlerstein answers frequently asked questions about FirstLight Home Care of West Suburban Boston and FirstLight Home Care of Boston-Back Bay services. Read weekly to learn what makes our services unique, gain a better understanding of home care in general, and walk away with some questions to add to your list if you are looking for services.

Last week Wendy answered “What kind of services do you provide?” and this week she will be discussing the people who provide the care – our caregivers.

Q: Who are your Caregivers?

A: Our professional caregivers are direct employees who go through a selective hiring process which includes personal interviews, criminal background checks (both multi-state and MA CORI), and reference checks. A driving record check is done for any caregiver that has a Driver’s License, and is willing and able to either drive a client’s car or their own vehicle during a shift. Given the expense of owning and maintaining a car, many of our caregivers do not own cars and have their own alternative transportation to and from work. If driving is a critical part of the care plan needs, we will always do our best based on availability, to match a caregiver who drives and/or has a car. Should transportation be needed during time with a client for a medical appointment or errand and the caregiver is not able to drive, we are happy to manage and arrange a Lyft through our Lyft agency account, for the caregiver to accompany a client, and then incorporate the cost onto your FirstLight invoice, making it a seamless process.

We put caregivers through a proprietary care assessment for competency, attitude, and behavior. Throughout this process, we ask the question, “would I be comfortable hiring this caregiver to take care of my mother”?

Those who are hired have experience providing personal care or companionship to individuals in different settings such as a private home, group home, assisted living facility, memory care unit, skilled nursing facility, and sometimes even in their own homes, caring for their family members. Most are Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) or Home Health Aides (HHA), but all are English-speaking, passionate, compassionate, and experienced–many having worked for a dozen years or more. Our benefits include top-of-the-market wages and perks as we are committed to attracting and retaining the very best professional caregivers. We also are there to support our caregivers around-the-clock providing the highest levels of respect, appreciation, and recognition. Whether it’s assisting them over the phone with clocking in, or attending a home visit to introduce them to a client, we place value in being able to support our caregivers out in the field so they can feel confident when working with clients. We are constantly monitoring our caregivers for skills that they learn in the field to best match them with our clients needs. Our Care Support Coordinator provides in-home training tailored specifically to a client’s needs. Not only does this help our caregiver staff continue to grow and learn new skills, but this person-specific training helps to ensure that the caregiver understands expectations for their specific client in order to provide the best care possible.

About Wendy:  Wendy Adlerstein, LSW is an expert on aging and home care with over 25 years of experience helping seniors and their families navigate these difficult decisions. As owner and Executive Director of FirstLight Home Care of West Suburban Boston and Boston-Back Bay, she runs a business that provides private home care services that allow adults and seniors to receive the support they deserve in the comfortable, familiar setting of their own home.  If you have a question for Wendy, please feel free to reach out to her at 781-559-0220 or by email at wadlerstein@firstlighthomecare.com.

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