Welcome to the 3rd installment of my series about Daily Money management.
When someone initially contacts me to request information about my services, I discuss what I do as a Daily Money manager (DMM) and ask if they would like to meet with me to discuss their specific situation. Usually I meet with prospective clients in their home or other residence (assisted living facility). I do not charge for the initial consultation which usually takes about one hour, although this may be extended if there are other family members.
Many people have asked if I could start working immediately during the initial consultation. This is something I don’t do because it is very important to first establish a relationship of trust by sharing what it is I do (and don’t do). It is also important for me to have an understanding of what the client needs and if I am the right person to provide those services. Since the initial meeting is more about getting to know one another, I don't do a detailed assessment. I do write down basic contact information, which is crucial with elderly clients and veterans with disabilities. Finding out who I can call if the client is unable to answer their phone or if there is a medical issue is very important
. I ask about the current services received, such as Meals on Wheels, medical care and the client’s ability to make decisions on their own.
Once I obtain this information, I describe the scope of services I offer. If this meets with approval from the client and it seems like we can work together, we schedule a follow up meeting to begin. At the next session, I will bring a written contract outlining the services I will provide. I also review the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice which I adhere to as a member of my professional association or AADMM.
Discussing financial matters can be very uncomfortable for many people, especially doing so with strangers! It is with this understanding that I offer the free initial consultation so that no one feels obligated to work with me until they have met me in person. Case Study #1 One of my first clients was a single woman in her early 80s who needed assistance with her telephone. It seemed that she wasn’t able to get a dial tone and was getting upset and making frequent calls to the apartment manager. It turned out that she was suffering from early dementia and her short term memory was impaired. Her phone had been turned off because she hadn’t paid her bill in 4 months. Once I contacted the phone company and requested automatic bill pay it was resolved, however she still needed help with maintaining her checking and savings accounts. I met with her 2-3x a month for approximately 20 months and assisted with bill paying and financial organization. Her POA finally moved out of the apartment to live in a facility closer to her remaining family members.
I was called in to meet with a 63 year old woman with financial organization problems and who also struggled with mental health issues. A Geriatric care manager was working with her but found it too difficult. I met with this client for several sessions, and assisted her with some organization of her paperwork. She felt that was all she could manage at that time, so we ended with the understanding she could contact me another time. These are just two of the wide variety of clients I’ve seen over the past 4 years. It’s been truly rewarding to offer Daily money management services to older adults and veterans. Money managers are needed by many people in the general population as well, but by narrowing the list of clients I work with, I am able to provide the highest level of quality service to them and their families!
5201 Old Middleton Road Madison WI 53705