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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Friday, June 05, 2009

Daily Money Management: Who, What, and Why?

Submitted by: Sheri Samotin

Daily Money Management is a relatively new field that deploys personal finance expertise to clients who have difficulty in managing their personal monetary affairs. The services meet a continuum of needs, from organizing and keeping track of medical and insurance papers, assisting with check writing and maintaining bank accounts, and advocating for payment of medical, disability, and long term care claims. Some Daily Money Managers (DMMs) will also arrange for in-home care and medical appointments and provide information regarding community resources available to meet other needs.

Most DMMs work mainly with seniors, although the services are available to anyone. Seniors who work with a DMM usually do so due to a physical change precipitated by the aging process, such as limited vision, arthritis or other conditions which limit the ability to write, dementia or a simple loss of the ability to follow through on tasks. Some others are so active in their retirement that travel and social activities make it difficult to keep up with paperwork, and they prefer to let someone else handle things for them. Often, the adult child will seek the assistance of a DMM on behalf of their aging parent if the child does not feel they have the time or ability to maintain their parent’s affairs.

A DMM does not take the place of other trusted professionals such as attorneys, accountants, geriatric care managers, or financial advisors. The work of the DMM complements the work of these other professionals by facilitating the completion of the day-to-day tasks rather than determining long-term plans. However, a good DMM should be able to recognize potential issues and refer you to professionals qualified to provide the other services you may need.

If you are interested in hiring a DMM for yourself or your aging relative, you should try to get a referral from someone you know and trust. In addition to your friends and relatives, other good sources for referrals are doctors, lawyers, accountants, residential community directors, home care providers, and geriatric care managers. There is also a national association of DMMs called the American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM). You can visit their website at www.aadmm.com to search for a member in your area.

Since the type of activities DMMs handle for their clients is highly personal and confidential, it is important that they are insured or bonded. A professional DMM will always be willing to have his or her work reviewed by your lawyer, accountant, or family member. It’s also a good sign if the DMM is a member of the AADMM, the local Chamber of Commerce, and active in local community organizations. Often, the DMM will be able to provide references that you can call.

Most DMMs charge for their service on an hourly basis, with rates varying with geographic areas. In addition to the hourly rates, most DMMs charge for their travel time and for out-of-pocket expenses. Each DMM sets his or her own fees and billing arrangements. Be sure to ask, in advance, so that there are no misunderstandings. It is best to have a written agreement with your DMM that outlines the scope of services to be provided, the fees to be charged, and the payment arrangements.

Hiring a DMM may be the perfect solution for you and your family. It is especially appropriate for long-distance caregivers who simply can’t be there to manage the business of life. A professional DMM will provide peace of mind for you or your care recipient, and allows seniors to maintain their independence and dignity.

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