Needham, MA

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. Please take a moment to read our many outstanding reviews from Google, Facebook, and and you’ll understand why FirstLight Home Care of West Suburban Boston is recognized for the highest quality of care and service as a home care and senior care agencyMeet our office care team:

Wendy Adlerstein, LSW

Wendy serves as our Executive Director. She oversees the non-medical assessments of clients, originating service plans, and supervises the office care team including the recruiting, training, scheduling and performance of caregivers.

Prior to joining FirstLight Home Care of West Suburban Boston, Wendy served in a variety of roles during an 18 year career in elder services at a private, non- profit home care agency in Waltham, MA which provides a myriad of services to seniors and adults with disabilities. As a licensed social worker, Wendy managed programs which provided services to seniors, conducted in home assessments, provided guidance to families and individuals to create service plans that addressed the needs and safety of seniors, and coordinated home care services. During her role as Volunteer Services Manager, she was responsible for recruiting, training, supervising and managing volunteers. She has extensive experience working directly with older adults and their families and helping people connect and find the right solutions to meet their needs. Wendy is inspired and motivated by helping people and thrives on making a difference in people’s lives.

Wendy holds a B.A. from Clark University, in Psychology with a concentration in Sociology and Human Services. In addition to her Massachusetts License in Social Work, Wendy holds a Certificate in Gerontology from the Worcester Consortium Gerontology Program. She is a member of the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), formerly the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers.  Finally, Wendy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner® in good standing from the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners.

Please take some time to listen to Wendy in a recent interview on the Engaging Voices podcast.  Wendy shares how she became interested in gerontology, the importance of empathy and communication in the business of care, and how she connects with stressed clients and families.  In addition, Wendy provides an inside view on what makes FirstLight Home Care of West Suburban Boston different from other home care providers.

Steve Stern

As President, Steve manages FirstLight Home Care of West Suburban Boston and leads the community relations and business development efforts.

Prior to opening the FirstLight office, Steve served in a number of management positions at marketing services organizations, where he developed programs and campaigns to promote a range of consumer brands and business services—from telecommunications and public transportation to accounting services and healthcare. Steve was born and raised in Needham and graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in Economics. He also holds an MBA with a concentration in marketing from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business.

After much success with his marketing and business development career, Steve began exploring new ways to use his skills while seeking a return to the meaningful work he enjoyed and missed of his early career where he was the manager of a Wellesley-based marketing services agency. In that position, Steve developed public awareness campaigns for a range of social issues in support of non-profit organizations and government agencies. Clients included the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, New England Home for Little Wanderers, the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, and a Medicare Options campaign for the predecessor to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Opening the FirstLight Home Care office was an opportunity for Steve to give back to the community, to seniors and others in his hometown and the surrounding area by offering an important service—one which has such a significant impact on quality of life.

Ed and Steve Image from JF&CS Memory Cafe in Waltham 2015 RESIZED

Steve enjoying the company of FirstLight client, Ed King at the JF&CS Memory Cafe in Waltham, MA.

Steve has personally seen the growing need for services to help people remain independent, through care for his grandmother, relatives, and other family members. He understands firsthand, the difficulty of caring for loved ones, and the challenges of finding qualified and compassionate resources to help in meeting this goal.

The FirstLight office was opened in partnership with Steve’s father, Michael, who serves as an advisor. Michael is a retired technology company pioneer from the early days of the Route 128 Corridor. He is married to Nancy, a life-long Needham resident and active community member. Steve is married to Amy, a public health care quality advisor who helps physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals establish health care systems in developing nations. Steve and Amy are the parents of twin boys who are rising seniors at Tufts University.

Jenny Wu serves as our Manager of Client Care Services. She manages the office’s care coordination team, including oversight of all scheduling, client service, and the performance of the FirstLight caregiver team.  Jenny began her career at FirstLight Home Care of West Suburban Boston as a Care Coordinator and was promoted to her current position in July 2019.  Prior to joining FirstLight, Jenny worked in the mental/behavioral health and developmental disabilities systems in Maine and New Hampshire. In her previous roles, she worked with individuals and families in the home, school, group homes and various community settings. She is passionate about working with people to help them meet their personal, academic, vocational and recreational goals. She has experience working directly with youth and children doing functional and behavioral health support, as well as parents, family members and caregivers in other case management roles. Jenny grew up living with her grandmother and relocated back to Massachusetts when her family needed additional assistance with her grandmother’s care due to Alzheimer’s. Jenny graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Family Studies. She also holds a Certificate in Case Management from Boston University School of Social Work’s Center for Aging & Disability Education and Research.

Elise Scaringello serves as our Senior Care Coordinator. She oversees the scheduling and performance of the FirstLight caregiver team and serves as our Scheduling Specialist. Prior to joining FirstLight, Elise attended Curry College where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health and Wellness. Elise also holds a Certificate in Case Management from Boston University School of Social Work’s Center for Aging & Disability Education and Research. In her prior position as a Health and Wellness Consultant at Jenny Craig, Elise enjoyed making a positive impact on people’s lives physically, mentally and emotionally. Her job was not only to help clients lose weight, but to instill healthy lifestyle changes and behaviors to ensure clients live a long and happy life.  Elise has always had a passion for the elderly as she lived with her grandparents all of her life, and they had a very large part in raising her. She provided help to them when needed, just like our caregivers do at FirstLight. Whether helping with grocery shopping, providing support at doctor’s appointments, cleaning, or just running errands, Elise was always there for her family members needing care. She knows firsthand what great care is, and the incredible benefits that come from it. Elise’s mother is CNA who often provides help with her grandfather for the more physical aspects of his needs. Elise loves being able to make a difference in someone’s life.


Annie McElaney serves as a Care Coordinator.  She oversees the scheduling and performance of the caregivers and serves as our Long Term Care Insurance Specialist. Prior to joining FirstLight, Annie worked at the Whitney Place Assisted Living Residences as a dietary aide.  She found this work to be very rewarding as she had the chance to interact with the residents in a casual setting, while providing them service and satisfying their dietary needs.  Annie also volunteered at Emeritus at Grayson View, a retirement home located in Selinsgrove, PA. Here, Annie took on a variety of roles in the Activities Department on a weekly basis.  Annie developed a passion for assisting the elderly after caring for her grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, for over 5 years.  She understands, firsthand, the impact a good caregiver can have on a family and is delighted to be working with FirstLight to help as many families and individuals as possible.  Annie graduated from Susquehanna University with a B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. She plans to pursue a Massachusetts License of Social Work in the future.

Maggie Bidwell serves as a Care Coordinator.  She oversees the scheduling and performance of the FirstLight caregiver team. Prior to joining FirstLight, Maggie attended Roger Williams University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and minors in Political Science and Professional and Public Writing. She has held several prior positions, some of which include creating online written content for healthcare agencies and hospitals, and served as an editorial assistant for an educational journal. During school, Maggie served as a caregiver for her grandparents during her summer and winter breaks. She ran errands, cooked, cleaned, and most importantly, spent quality time with them. She has been close with all of her grandparents for her entire life and as a result, is very passionate about helping the elderly.

Kourtnie Johnson, MSW, serves as our Weekend On-Call Caregiver Supervisor. She oversees the scheduling and performance of the caregivers over the weekend. Prior to joining FirstLight, Kourtnie worked at South Shore Elder Services as a Geriatric Care Coordinator overseeing coordination and care options for seniors living in the community.  Currently, Kourtnie works during the week in child protective services. In both her previous and current role, she works with individuals and families in the home, schools, group homes and various community settings. She is committed to working with people to help them meet their goals and maintain stability. She has experience working directly with youth, parents, family members and caregivers coordinating therapeutic and support services in their homes. Kourtnie grew up with her grandmother who she cared for throughout her battle with pancreatic cancer. Kourtnie graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and she went on to obtain her Master’s in Social Work from Simmons College.

Debby Toto serves as our Human Resources Specialist.  Prior to joining FirstLight Home Care, Debby served in a variety of roles in the Human Resources field, including as a recruiter in Boston’s financial district, as a Human Resources Generalist for an insurer, followed by working as a Human Resources Manager with a high-tech start-up.  Throughout her childhood, Debby had a close relationship with her grandparents, and in recent years she has assisted her mother who has had a barrage of challenging health diagnoses, and age-related mobility issues.  Debby holds a B.A. from Florida Atlantic University in Arts and Humanities, and is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management.  She is the Co-Chair of Fundraising for Gifts of Hope Unlimited Inc., a non-profit whose mission is to support and assist individuals affected by relationship violence to gain access to resources for a safe and empowered future.  Debby lives west of Boston with her husband, John, who is a Sales Director for a high tech start-up and a District Deputy for the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts.  Debby and John are the proud parents of two daughters, one of whom works in business development, and the other is matriculating at Georgetown University.


When you come to us for care, we know it hasn’t been an easy decision to make. Trust you’re in good hands with FirstLight Home Care – One of the highest rated and best home care/senior care agencies serving the West Suburban Boston communities.  Please take a moment to read some of our outstanding reviews.

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