Arise Cares Caregiver Spotlight: Kristine Bettermann

The Caregivers at Arise Cares enjoy making a difference in the lives of seniors, people with special needs, and families. Our caregivers get to experience a personal connection with their clients and see the meaningful changes they make in their lives.

We asked one of our caregivers – Kristine Bettermann – about her experience working at Arise Cares.


The Basics

How long have you been a Caregiver?

My first job as a Caregiver was through Arise and I’ve worked here for 1 year and 3 months.


How did you first come across Caregiving as a career?

Since I am minoring in Special Education, I am in a lot of classes with girls and guys who were already working as Caregivers for part-time jobs. I sat next to a girl who worked for Arise Cares and she got me really interested in applying.


What’s your favorite thing about being a Caregiver?

People who are not fully physically independent sometimes lose their ability to do their favorite pastime activities on their own. It is really special for me to help them do those special activities and experience the joy it brings them.


If you’re a college student, what do you plan on doing in the future for a career?

I am majoring in psychology and minoring in Special Education. I would love to become a marriage and family therapist as my career progresses.


Your “Why”

Why are you a caregiver?

I am a Caregiver simply because I love taking care of people. I know that I have a kind heart and would do anything to make someone’s day.


As a college student, how is your role as a Caregiver setting you up for your future?

Being a Caregiver has given me better people skills, as I interact directly with many different people through this line of work. It has also helped me with my homemaking skills like making beds, cooking, cleaning…etc.


What inspires or encourages you as a Caregiver?

The families of my clients encourage me to do the best job that I can when I am working for their loved one. Before I do something, I always think to myself, Is that how I would want someone to care for my grandparents? I like families to know that their loved one is in good hands when they are with me.


Your Advice

What words of wisdom do you have for other Caregivers?

Be personable, but also professional. In this line of work, you are working very intimately with your clients and their families. It is ok to get to know them and have them know you on a personal level, but it is also a job and boundaries have to be set right away.


What words of wisdom do you have for clients and their families?

Don’t be afraid to let your Caregivers know what is expected of them and correct them when they are doing something wrong. We get paid to do this job and I know it’s a bit awkward to ask someone to take out your garbage or do your laundry, but that’s why we are here.


What do you wish you would have known when you first became a Caregiver?

I did not realize how attached you get to your clients and their families. It is really hard to say goodbye to people who you have spent months or even a year with. Listening to their weekend plans, sitting with them at dinner and hearing about their day makes you feel at home.


If you’re looking for a meaningful career, consider a career as a Caregiver at Arise Cares. Besides a valuable career, you’ll find a flexible schedule, a competitive wage, and real-world experience to help reach your future goals.

Choose to Age Well with These 6 Healthy Living Tips

The beginning of the year is an excellent time to develop and recommit to goals that will help you better yourself. This year, focus your resolutions on healthy aging habits and aging well. With the help of your home health care assistant, see how you can lead a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle while being at your healthiest and happiest self.

Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
Regular physical exercise will help you maintain muscle mass and flexibility, and staying physically fit throughout your adult life will help decrease the chance that you will develop chronic health conditions. Get into a regular routine of exercising and staying fit, and engage in a lifelong sport that you enjoy like golf, dancing, cycling, or jogging.

Exercise Your Brain
The more you challenge your brain, the better it performs. Staying mentally active is just as important as staying physically fit. Challenge yourself to learn something new every day, learn a new language, join a discussion group, regularly participate in puzzles and mind teasers to exercise your brain.

Watch What You Put in Your Body
Many experts agree that most of your health is related to what you put into your body. Engage in a healthy diet. A good rule of thumb to follow is to eat a rainbow. More specifically, choose nutrient-rich foods like brightly colored fruits and vegetables that will add some variety to your diet. Seek out heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and limit your red meat and whole-fat dairy product intake. Choose whole grains over processed and refined grains. Choose bone-healthy calcium and Vitamin D options. To develop a more personalized diet, consult your healthcare professional.

Watch Your Stress Levels
The most common symptoms of aging—wrinkles, loss of energy, high blood pressure, heart disease, adrenal failure, loss of sex drives, poor memory—are really symptoms of stress and unhealthy lifestyle choices. Limit stress-inducing habits and eliminate smoking and limit our junk-food and drinking intake. Cut out negative and abusive relationships. Free yourself of regrets and emotional demons. And find a healthy and meaningful way to cope with stress.

Foster Relationships You Enjoy

Social isolation is a major indicator of unhappiness and depression. Engaging in healthy, active, and meaningful relationships. Remember the importance of cultivating and maintaining relationships and staying socially active as it has been linked to reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Be Responsible About Screenings
Physicals and wellness exams are important as you age, but getting specific screenings for heart disease, cancer, and heart diseases, as well as vaccines for pneumonia, shingles, and the flu—which kills thousands of older adults every year—is essential to your health. A simple screening can catch a disease in its earliest stages.

For more information on healthy aging, read 50 Tips for Aging Gracefully from Ecumen.

Nine Common Signs for Recognizing Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a debilitating and heartbreaking disease to have and to witness. While the symptoms you have and how strong they occur vary, it’s important to identify the following nine signs:

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
One of the most common signs in Alzheimer’s patients can be seen when a loved one forgets big details of recent conversations or important dates and events. Remember, this symptom can be inconsistent meaning a person can tell a story one day, and confuse major details of the same story the next day.

2. Misplacing items
A person with Alzheimer’s may lose track of items and be unable to retrace their steps to track it down. They may also place items in unusual spots, like placing keys in the fridge or a phone in the dryer. They may try and reason with themselves, thinking that an item was stolen or someone else misplaced it.

3. Difficulty in understanding visual images and spatial relationships
A person showing this symptom may exhibit difficulty judging distances, recognizing patterns, and be unable to properly discern their image from a mirror. Perception of time and length will be difficult to grasp as well. They may judge a timeline of 10 minutes as closer to 3 hours, or think a friend has been gone for weeks when in reality they have only been gone for hours.

4. An inability to plan or solve problems
A person developing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s will have a hard time focusing and concentrating on tasks and problems; tasks may become difficult to accomplish and problems may seem difficult to solve. New problems will be one thing, but familiar tasks like following a favorite recipe or keeping track of bill payments and daily duties will be especially difficult.

5. Mood swings and changes in personality. Possibly due to the other symptoms, frustrations and confusion can arise. Individuals with Alzheimer’s can become suspicious, depressed, anxious, or irritable. Anxiety and a constant fear of being unsettled usually come from confusion, fear, and feeling overwhelmed from trying to make sense of a now unfamiliar world.

6. Poor judgment
Being unable to focus and concentrate as well as having difficulty in perception and memory can lead to poor decision making. Money is usually the first indicator. Examples of this can be giving unusual gifts or overpaying on purchases, tips, and donations. They may be unable to assess what is safe or appropriate or dress improperly for the weather or a special event.

7. Withdrawal from regular life
A person with Alzheimer’s may refrain from regular hobbies, social circles, and organizations. It may seem like they are disinterested in what they previously enjoyed, but having other symptoms on this list may cause them to avoid and become insecure in those hobbies and behaviors.

8. Issues with speech and language
Participation and comprehension in regular conversations will become more difficult. They may struggle with vocabulary and identifying words, names, and people. With time, they may begin speaking gibberish words or experience speech reduction, resulting in a reliance on gestures.

9. Restlessness
This can take place in the form of wandering away from home or doing seemingly unimportant tasks like packing for a non-existent trip or cleaning already clean clothes. They may do these tasks because of memory loss or they may want to accomplish these tasks to regain a sense of purpose.


It is important to remember that if a loved one has a few or more of these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean they have the disease. It does mean, however, that you should take your loved one to a doctor or medical specialist trained in evaluating memory disorders at a certified clinic. For more information on the signs of Alzheimer’s disease, visit

To help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease, Arise has helped organize and will be walking in the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The event will take place on Saturday, September 26 at Lake George Municipal Park. All money raised will go to the Alzheimer’s Association’ mission-related initiatives. For more information on starting and team or fundraising as an individual, visit Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Choosing a Home Health Agency

“Of all the lessons I’ve learned through my years of caregiving, the most important is to keep the love connection going. Just tell them that you love them again and again and again. You will never say it too much- ever.”

– Joan Lunden, journalist, author, mother of seven and long time caregiver to her mother.

You love your parents. You are so thankful for all they’ve done for you through the years. You want to help them as they age, but the caregiving task is getting to you. You’re trying to get ahead but you feel like you’re running on a treadmill. You are burnt out physically and checking out emotionally. How do you show your love to your parents and provide them the care they need?

If you’re struggling to keep up with caregiving and keeping your life balanced, it’s time to step back and look for other options. One of the best options in this transitional time of life is home health care. When making this decision, it’s critical to know what to look for in a home health agency.

10 Questions to Ask Home Health Agencies

Home Care Agency

  • How long has your agency been providing home care services?
  • What certifications and licenses does your agency have?
  • What are your financial procedures? Do you have documents explaining costs and payment plans?


  • How are caregivers selected? Are background checks run on all of the staff?
  • What are your requirements for caregivers? Do they go through ongoing training and development?
  • Are caregivers supervised? If so, what is done to ensure workers are given the best possible care?
  • Are caregivers available at any time (24 hours a day, seven days a week)?
  • Who is all involved in making changes to the care plan?

General Care

  • What services do you provide?
  • Do you have nurses and other health professionals evaluating the home care needs of my loved one? How are the needs assessed?
  • How is my loved one’s care plan documented? Can I see an example?
  • Who can we contact if we have questions or concerns about the care? How do you addresses problems if they arise?
  • Do you have caregivers that can meet my special language or cultural preferences?
  • What processes do you have in place to react to emergencies?

Once you’ve asked these questions, follow up with a request for references. A great home care agency should have a long list of doctors, clients, nurses, and families that are eager to share their experiences with the agency.

Arise Home Health Care has been providing quality home care services for over 15 years across central Minnesota. Learn more about the Arise story and services, or contact us for a conversation about your unique caregiving needs. We would happily answer any questions you may have about home health care and our agency.