Daily Money Management services can stop or prevent financial abuse or exploitation, especially, for the elderly who have become vulnerable due to a decline in physical or mental health. Many older adults need help with their day-to-day finances and the number continues to grow as our elderly population increases.The loss of memory or mobility makes bill paying, banking and handling insurance claims difficult and can lead to self-neglect, eviction, disconnected utilities or being taking advantage of, most often, by those that are closest to them.
A Daily Money Manager (DMM) provides assistance with paying bills, creating a budget, checkbook balancing, credit management, banking and medical insurance bills that will protect financial security and serve as a deterrent to potential elder abuse. Other services include organizing financial paperwork, preparing documents for taxes, sorting through mail and in some cases they become a trustee, guardian or granted power of attorney. A DMM will also work closely with, or provide referrals to, legal, tax, and investment professionals.
Daily Money Managers can customize their services and fees to fit the unique needs of the client. The services offered by a DMM are highly cost effective and help to eliminate the devastating consequences of financial mismanagement or neglect. According to a study, by the Brookdale Center for Healthy aging, the average cost of a DMM is less than $250 per month for a single individual and can save an average of $60,000 a year per person by staying in the home and avoiding a nursing care facility.
The elderly become targets of financial abuse because of cognitive or physical impairments that make them dependent on others, isolation, lack of technical ability and predictability. Some are unfamiliar with their finances and may have suffered a loss of a life partner who managed their monetary affairs. The elderly are also less likely to retaliate due to fear of abandonment and embarrassment.
There are many signs that can indicate if an individual is at risk or may already be a victim.
- Unpaid bills, eviction notices or discontinued utilities.
- Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts or transfer between accounts.
- Inappropriate payments, such as paying bills twice.
- Unexpected purchases from home shopping club networks, sweepstakes contests or multiple credit card companies.
- Unusually large donations to charitable organizations.
- Failure to list deposits and expenses.
- Belongings or property are missing.
- Bank statements and canceled checks no longer come to the home.
- Absences of financial documentation.
- New “best friends”.
- Signing of blank checks or forged signatures.
- Have been threatened, pressured or coaxed to make transactions.
- Caregiver refusing to give money for food, rent, medicine or clothing.
- Use of a social security number to obtain credit without permission.
The perpetrators are generally family members including children, grandchildren or spouses. Typically, from those who are unemployed, have substance abuse problems or stand to inherit money. Having a DMM to intervene can help stop or lessen the impact of this abuse. They become a trusted partner and will act as a third party solely in the best interest of their clients’. The common thread in financial abuse is the need for assistance with everyday monetary matters. Whether it is to keep a client at home, prevent abuse or financial hardship, the need for the professional services of a Daily Money Manager have become essential.