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.

Elder Care: The Emotion of Aging

“Aging is out of your control. How you handle it, though, is in your hands.”

Diane von Fürstenberg, formerly Princess Diane of Fürstenberg, a Belgian-born American

Diane is widely known in the fashion world (a world that doesn’t always accept aging open-heartedly) but her words are correct; aging is out of our control. Nevertheless, we can address the emotions and the attitudes that come along with aging ourselves. Often times as we grow older, focus is shifted and directed solely on our physical aspects. What is more important is to care for an entire person — mental health and emotions included.

Mental health has an impact on the emotions, attitude, and even physical health of a person. “The presence of depressive disorders often adversely affects the course and complicates the treatment of other chronic diseases,” (Read The State of Mental Health and Aging in America1).  In a previous blog, we discussed the impact of loneliness imposed by isolation on the care of seniors, including a personal story of how companionship from a home health aide had a positive effect in another’s life.

Loneliness is not the only mental health issue that seniors face. Contrasting popular belief, anxiety is prevalent among aging seniors. The issue isn’t in the forefront of discussion because the most common issues emphasized for seniors are related to  physical health over mental health (Read Older Adults3).  According to research, depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand. “Almost half of older adults who are diagnosed with major depression also meet the criteria for anxiety,” (Read The State of Mental Health and Aging in America1).

There are a variety of reasons that could lead to a less than cheerful attitude in seniors towards the changes associated with aging. Living in chronic pain, mounting stress from depression and anxiety, or side-effects from medications could all impact mood and attitude (Read Sources of a Senior’s Bad Mood2).

Senior Home Care

There are several resources that provide tips to help caregivers assist the seniors in their lives in the resources listed below. Senior home care can play a huge role providing the necessary social support for aging seniors. According to a study conducted by the CDC, “Social support serves major support functions, including emotional support (e.g., sharing problems or venting emotions), informational support (e.g., advice and guidance), and instrumental support (e.g., providing rides or assisting with housekeeping).” This social support is linked to a reduced risk of mental health, physical illness and mortality (Read The State of Mental Health and Aging in America1).

It is important to make care choices that will consider all areas of life, including emotional health. Arise is committed to providing a service that honors emotional health and protects the dignity, individuality and independence of seniors. If you want to learn more about how we can serve you and your family, contact Arise for more information.


  1. “The State of Mental Health and Aging in America” <>
  2. “Sources of a Seniors Bad mood” <>
  3. “Older Adults” <>
  4. “Mood Changers: 5 Ways to Coax a Smile from Grumpy Elders” <>
  5. “Tips for Family” <>