Bartow, FL

FirstLight is About People

Home Care is Not a Career, It’s a Calling

We know your first priority when choosing a home care provider is finding someone you can trust and rely on… someone who will care for your loved one as you would, and as we would our own. We’ve been where you are, and this is one of the main reasons we chose to be in this business.


Our Story…

We have all dealt with aging loved ones that need that extra special care that our family members deserve.  The Whitener’s are no different.  We have all lived that reality and will continue to do so as we all age.  But, Imagine with me for moment, being fresh out of college, ready to take on the world! You are dating the love of your life and have your entire future ahead of you! Then BAM! Your life changes in an instant.  Things will never be the same.  Altered, forever! This is exactly the situation Scott Whitener and his entire family found themselves in.

You see, the day after Thanksgiving, while enjoying time with his wife, Shawna, and his family, a call was received notifying them that Shawna’s father fell while trimming a tree and was in the hospital. Thinking his injuries would be minor, everyone was shocked to learn that he had broken his neck and probably wouldn’t make it. After many months of tears, prayers, close calls, ups and downs, rehab and therapy, he made it!  And while he was still alive, he was now totally paralyzed from his neck down, and it was time for him to come home. Everyone had to adjust to a new normal of him needing help with literally everything.  What do we do?

This experience revealed a need that only those with a calling could possibly fill.  It was that moment the Whitener’s knew what they were meant to do, and this is it!  They’ve been where you are! They have felt hopeless! And that is exactly why they opened FirstLight Home Care of Central Polk County, to serve their community by providing the assistance our loved ones need to maintain independence, dignity and respect, while also providing the support families need for peace-of-mind.

Whether it’s to allow a son or daughter to be a daughter and son again, or just a break for family caregivers to run errands or take a vacation, a regular visitor to ensure meals are healthy and the house and laundry are clean, or maybe your loved one needs more care than your family can provide, our FirstLight Home Care family can help.

We are a growing, locally owned business with an emphasis on finding and training extraordinary people to provide exceptional care. Our family of caregivers are skilled, compassionate and reliable – only those we would trust assisting our own family.

So visit us at FirstLight Home Care and let us know how our family can help your family.

Bill, Suzie & Scott Whitener


Bill Whitener, Owner

Bill is a Florida Native, growing up in Lakeland and Palmdale, in south Florida.  He has lived in the Polk County area for the last 40 years and has dedicated his life to serving others in the community. He has been in the ministry since 1980, serving in several capacities and touching countless lives.

Bill experienced the burden of caring for his mother and father late in their lives.  He knows, firsthand, the struggles a loving son faces when making those decisions, when you have never had to. His desire to help others that are going through this process make him an essential piece of the FirstLight Family!

He and his wife, Suzie, have been married for 43 years.  They have two children, Lori & Scott, and 4 grandchildren, Zach, Jaelyn, E.J. & Landon.



Suzie Whitener, Owner

Suzie is also a Florida Native, growing up in Fort Meade, Florida.  She has lived in Polk County all of her life. While serving side by side with Bill in the ministry, she also worked in education for 35 years as a teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal and Programs Coordinator. Her calling to serve greatly impacted those students and teachers that she was responsible for.

Suzie has also dealt with the care of aging parents.  Taking on most of the duties herself and seeing, up close, the strain that can be put on this parent/child relationship, when the child has to become the caregiver.  Allowing a son or daughter to spend that time with their parent, instead of being a caregiver, is a driving force in Suzie’s work at FirstLight Home Care.

Suzie and her husband, Bill, have been married for 43 years. They have two children, Lori & Scott, and 4 grandchildren, Zach, Jaelyn, E.J. & Landon.



Scott Whitener, Owner

Scott is a 7th generation Floridian.  He was raised in Fort Meade and returned back to Polk County after his time away at college. He has worked both in education and in the private sector over his career.  His experiences as a teacher and coach, being able to help kids, their families and the community, has driven Scott to a life of serving.

Scott’s life was instantly changed the day his father-in-law, Kevin, fell and broke his neck.  He has witnessed the love and compassion and care his mother-in-law, Diann, provides daily, and how it has extended Kevin’s life well beyond any life expectancy from the doctors. Scott knows, without a doubt, that being a caregiver is a calling. Doing it with love & compassion and doing it exactly how you would for you own family, can not only extend someone’s life, but can lessen the burden and change the lives of the family members as well.  This mindset is the very foundation, the cornerstone, of FirstLight Home Care

Scott and his wife, Shawna, have one son, Landon, and two dogs, Deuce & Tripp.


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