Flexibility. Recognition. Personal engagement.

These are three of the top 10 factors of job satisfaction for today’s employees, as noted by the Society for Human Resource Management in a recent study. When employees have the ability to set their work schedules around what is important to them, they are more focused while at work and report much higher levels of happiness in their lives.

At FirstLight Home Care, the happiness of their caregivers is equally as important as the satisfaction of their clients. For Sarah and Greg Lane, owners of FirstLight Home Care, their mission is to provide the best place to work in senior care, which inevitably translates into the best care for their clients.

There are many benefits for caregivers to work in home care – and specifically at FirstLight.

Schedule Flexibility

FirstLight Home Care
The management team (from right) includes Callie Martinez, Sarah Lane and Justin Ouellette. Photo credit: FirstLight Home Care

“I love making a difference in peoples’ lives on their terms,” shares Callie Martinez, Care Coordinator at FirstLight. The beauty of working at FirstLight is that both the caregivers and the clients are benefitting from the flexibility of one-on-one care. “We provide 24-hour care which means we can schedule anything from one-hour to 16-hour shifts,” explains Martinez.

This type of scheduling is perfect for students looking for part-time or full-time work. FirstLight has the ability to schedule their caregivers’ shifts around their class schedule. “Many of our student caregivers enjoy working nights so they can study when the client is sleeping,” explains Sarah.

Parents can work around their child’s school schedule. Some caregivers work from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or have the option to begin the workday when their spouse is home to care for their families. “For some of our employees, this is their second job,” explains Sarah. “We even have state employees that miss caregiving and want to get back to that mutually beneficial relationship for a few hours each week..

One-on-One Care

FirstLight Home Care
Sarah Lane (left) is passionate about employee satisfaction. Photo credit: FirstLight Home Care

“The one-on-one ratio of caregiver to client is truly one of the greatest benefits to home care for both parties,” explains Justin Ouellette, Director of Community Outreach at FirstLight Home Care. Before joining FirstLight, Justin spent nearly 10 years working in senior care facilities. “As home caregivers, we have the opportunity to create mutually beneficial relationships with our clients in their home environments.”

FirstLight caregiver Katinka enjoys the personalized one-on-one time with her clients. “You build relationships and suddenly it does not feel like work anymore, but helping someone that is a part of your life. I truly feel like I have a meaning and purpose in the client’s life and that feeling is priceless,” she says.

Positive Working Environment

When clients are in the familiar setting of home, there is less likely to be the stress and anxiety that can occur in a large group facility. The workload is manageable and ensures higher quality care.

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Kari Olson is all smiles as she is recognized as Caregiver of the Month. Photo credit: FirstLight Home Care

While caregivers at FirstLight Home Care go to work each day in their client’s homes, the support and resources of FirstLight are never far away. “Sarah and Callie are both available to caregivers around the clock,” shares Ouellette. “They want to provide the best care possible for our clients, so they ensure our caregivers are trained and supported.”

Employees of FirstLight have the benefit of knowing that Sarah will always ensure a healthy and safe environment for caregivers. “We will help our clients to find a good fit, even if we are not the right help for them at that time,” she says. This guarantee translates into higher satisfaction for both client and caregiver. In an industry with a high turnover rate due to burnout and stress, FirstLight has satisfied and happy employees, with a turnover rate of less than 5% over their two years in business – the lowest in senior care.

Support, Recognition and Education

More than one employee has called in sick or had a family emergency and been surprised when they are told that their shift would be covered by someone on the management team. All three managers, including Sarah, are certified caregivers. This teamwork creates a trust and camaraderie amongst the staff that contributes to the culture of compassion that Sarah and Greg have created at FirstLight.

FirstLight Home Care
The FirstLight Home Care team are like family, gathering together at a company picnic. Photo courtesy: FirstLight Home Care

“Sarah puts a lot of energy into staff recognition and retention,” explains Ouellette. Continuing education is provided at no cost for employees at monthly staff meetings and extra certification is available to all caregivers at no cost.

Caregiver Mary explains it best: “Sarah is a wonderful boss! She is passionate about FirstLight and creating the best service and work environment in a challenging industry. I feel completely supported when I enter someone’s home.”

FirstLight Home Care is actively seeking new caregivers. Learn more about being a part of the team at FirstLight, or if you want information on how FirstLight can aid in your life, contact slane@firstlighthomecare.com or call 360-489-1621.

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