Has your older client been missing appointments? Has she forgotten to pay invoices although in the past she has always been organized and punctual?
While you may shrug off these slip-ups as “normal for her age,” there’s no denying that relationships can be complicated when working with aging clients.
And even as you tell yourself it’s none of your business – that it’s a family matter best left in the hands of her children or spouse – these symptoms of aging upend the meaning of business-as-usual and potentially impact your bottom line.
So it is your business.
I’ve seen how the specific needs, actions, behaviors, and emotions of older adults effect professionals like yourself. A senior’s slightly disheveled appearance can quickly devolve into an inability to manage day-to-day matters including signing the change-of-beneficiary document or trust agreement that will impact both her future and your ability to protect and grow her assets.
I’ve seen professionals like yourself stand by and watch family tensions lead to a breakdown in communications with you, and ultimately, to the loss of an opportunity to continue serving that client’s family over time.
With a heavy heart, I’ve noted that in conversations with older clients, professionals like yourself often spot the small changes – reports of pain, discomfort, loneliness, confusion – pointing to broader issues such as illness, dementia or depression that need attention.
Yet… What can you do?
If you speak up and earnestly express your concerns, you run the risk of upsetting your client, of straining or potentially jeopardizing your relationship. But if you work with aging clients as if everything were normal, you risk a breakdown of the process – not to mention an opportunity to connect on a fundamental, human level and lend support to somebody in need.
As an attorney, a financial planner, or a fellow professional, nobody expects you to be an expert in elder care. Understanding, supporting and caring for the members of our aging population — now the largest generation in America — takes a village. Or a team. And it requires a specialized approach.
That’s where your third option comes in: a trusted outside party with the right expertise to counsel aging clients who show symptoms of decline. At LivHOME, my team of geriatric care managers and I have that expertise. We know how to:
This new blog will shed light on the needs, actions, behaviors, and emotions of older adults as they affect both professionals like yourself and families. Drawing on 30-plus years of experience counseling aging clients as a geriatric care manager, I will provide insights into topics such as:
Our goal is to help you understand and work with aging clients so that ultimately, you can better manage your relationship and transactions with them, improving outcomes while contributing to their enhanced well-being.
Feel free to join the conversation, through comments, social media or subscribe to my newsletter.
My team and I are here to help.