IN-HOME CARE REVIEW
Updated for December, 2021
FirstLight HomeCare Review
Best For: Live-In & 24-Hour Care | Travel Companion Services | Post-Operative & Rehabilitative Care
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FirstLight provides a wide range of home care and companion care services and specializes in some interesting additional services, such as travel companion services, a carefully crafted post-hospitalization service aimed at preventing readmissions, access to a medical alert system, and an online portal that allows family to track their loved one’s care remotely. If you’re looking for home care services—and especially if you’re looking for these particular offerings—it’s worth your time contacting your local FirstLight office.
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- Medication reminders
- Light housekeeping
- Meal planning and prep
- Social escort services
- Mobility assistance
- Organization help
- Physical therapy
- Pre- and post-op assistance
- Respite care
- Live-in care
- 24-hour care
- Alzheimer’s and dementia care
FirstLight Homecare Review
These days, seniors in the United States are increasingly looking to stay in their homes as long as possible. Aging in place, however, comes with challenges that increase as people get older and as the infirmities that accompany aging pose increasing threats to their independence. Home care agencies exist to give people the help they may need to remain independent for as long as possible, allowing them to stay in their homes and avoid entering an assisted living facility. As one of the larger home care franchises in the US, FirstLight’s locations provide a wide variety of care, including companion care, personal care, and specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s or a need for physical therapy.
Based in Ohio, FirstLight was founded in 2009, began franchising in 2010, and now has around 150 locations throughout the US. While each location is independently owned and operated, the franchising company does exert its influence on these locations, and that seems to be a good thing overall, judging by the reviews left by current and former employees at job-hunting sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. FirstLight employees generally regard the company positively. More than four out of five employees who reviewed the company on Glassdoor said they would recommend the company to their peers—a great sign, both in terms of the way the company treats its employees and in terms of avoiding the turnover among caregivers that can make clients unhappy with their care.
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“First Light is a fantastic company to work for. The staff is courteous and appreciative of their aides and the clients are very thankful for the work you provide.”
“Wonderful place to work. Easy hiring process. I really enjoyed taking care of our clients. I had a easy schedule and could pick up extra hours if I needed to. Management team were easy to talk and very supportive. Always available.”
“Caring and committed Owners and Office Staff. Some of the most passionate and professional caregivers I have ever worked with.”
Services and Offerings
Companion Care and Personal Care
FirstLight provides a full range of home care services, including companion care services such as light housekeeping, medication reminders, and shopping and transportation. The company also provides personal care services such as help with grooming and hygiene, toileting, feeding, and help with walking and mobility. It also offers all these types of care on a respite basis for caregivers who need a temporary break from looking after their loved ones.
FirstLight offers a specialized approach to dementia care, and aims to tailor its care plans to the individual needs of the client, focusing on them as an individual and shaping their approach to keep the client in their familiar surroundings for as long as possible.
This innovative program aims to reduce the chance that a client will have to go back into the hospital by working with care providers to guarantee their recovery after they return home. This is done through non-medical interventions such as close observation of the patient, preparation of special diets, and medication reminders, and improves outcomes for the patient, improves their quality of life, and lowers the cost of care.
Travel Companion Service
Age and infirmity don’t stop life from going on, and even if someone needs assistance at home, they may still need to travel—to see family or to participate in life’s milestones. FirstLight offers a specialized travel companion service that sends a caregiver on the road to provide assistance with ticketing, luggage, and all the complexities of travel while still providing essential personal care.
Medical Alert System
Like several home care companies, FirstLight provides clients access to one of the leading medical alert systems, giving clients the ability to summon help if they have an accident in their homes while unattended.
Client Care Access
Another useful extra FirstLight offers is its web-based client care access portal, which allows the client’s family and supporters to monitor the care their loved ones are receiving from FirstLight’s employees—and to provide feedback, if needed.
Word on the Street
In our survey of online reviews, we took care to get responses from several locations with a fairly widespread geographic range. And in the 100 reviews we surveyed, customers were reasonably happy with Comfort Keepers, giving them a weighted rating of 4.4 out 5 stars.
Clients and Families Appreciate Their Providers
FirstLight bills itself as a company that goes the extra mile to match caregivers to each individual client’s needs, and looking at the feedback on consumer forums suggests that this approach does help, with a significant majority of customers reporting positive experiences with their caregivers.
Administration an Issue?
For the most part, FirstLight clients seemed happy with the office staff at the franchises they worked with, and many offered specific examples of the responsiveness and reliability of the local administrators. At the same time, there were the standard complaints about problems that plague the home care industry in general, including inconsistency in the quality of caregivers and problems with billing and scheduling.
Trust and Dependability
Overall, FirstLight lands in about the middle of the pack when it comes to clients’ trust in their caregivers and the franchises who work with them. By and large, clients felt that they received care up to the standard they expected, and could depend on caregivers for competent care and rely on the local office to take care of any problems that arose.
Give your loved ones the best careCaring for parents as they age is never easy. The help from home care services allows you to maintain your relationship while providing the best care possible. Find Caregivers
“I called FirstLight Home Care after my father had a fall . . . Not only did they answer my call right away but they had a caregiver by his side two hours after I had spoken with them. The caregiver that currently cares for my father’s needs not only does the cooking and the light housekeeping but has encouraged him to start doing what he loved but had stopped due to his eyesight, building airplane models. I couldn’t ask more from this agency. They have exceeded my expectations and I have build a great relationship with the office staff.”
“Excellent care provided from the caregivers. FirstLight really understood our needs and set about to place a caregiver with my loved one who has anticipated what was needed and took care of it. She has become one of the family!”
“My dad has a wonderful caregiver. Always on time, gives me a text on how his night went. They talk, play games, go for walks, eat snacks together. Can not say enough about how wonderful she is.”
Costs for home care tend to vary depending on where you live and the type of care needed. In order to address this factor, we surveyed FirstLight locations in a number of different areas around the country and compared each location’s rates with the median rates for care in the surrounding area as published in the Genworth Cost of Care Study. In general, we found that FirstLight locations tended to charge slightly more for care than their local competitors. In addition, like most home care companies, FirstLight requires a minimum number of hours per visit, and it’s important to find out from your local office what that minimum length is as you shop around.
The Bottom Line
FirstLight HomeCare offers a full menu of home care services, including companion and personal care, and care for clients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The company also focuses on other types of care: in addition to live-in and 24-hour care, FirstLight offers travel companion services, rehabilitation care, and a focused approach to post-operative assistance. Overall, the company gets solid feedback from customers and employees alike, and is certainly worth considering if you or a loved one needs home care tailored to address these specific needs.
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