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Q&A on Care with Wendy

In our 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.

This week she will be discussing the behind the scenes of all that is associated with the cost of care.

Q: What is included in the rate?

A: Generally, care is priced hourly or a daily flat rate may be available if the situation and needs can accommodate a live-in model. Hourly rates are higher for shorter visits as short shifts are less attractive to caregivers and higher pay is offered to incentivize and compensate accordingly. The majority of every dollar of care which appears on the invoice covers caregiver wages, related payroll, other taxes, and mandated benefits such as sick time, as well as worker’s compensation premiums. However, these costs do not represent the whole dollar. It is important to remember that all the office staff’s care coordination and HR-related time is incorporated into the rates. We have professional, on-call office staff available 24/7 for any concerns or needs. FirstLight supervises our caregivers to ensure that the care being provided is according to the care plan. We do not charge extra for the many hours of care coordination, supervisory visits and care plan reassessments, frequent communication on care updates, as well as any Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance claim assistance. Nor do we explicitly charge for the time needed to identify and hire the best professional caregivers which includes pre-screening followed by more in-depth screening, interviews, criminal background checks, and reference checks.

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

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