Fiduciaries are Living in a World of Disruption

By Steve Barlam, MSW, LCSW, CMC

We are living in a world of political, economic, and technology disruption. These disruptions are swirling all around us and affecting our professional work. Professional fiduciaries, just like geriatric care managers, have ridden many waves of change successfully. But what is required for the next cycle? I encourage you to follow these five principles:

1. Stay true to your mission, vision, and values. It’s essential in the face of change to not compromise your core values. The WHY you do business should always drive your decisions and compel your current and potential clients to be attracted to your offering as a professional fiduciary.

2. Expand your assessment beyond clients’ needs. As fiduciaries, you are great at sizing up a situation and figuring out what is needed. However, sometimes a client’s complex medical/psychiatric conditions and behaviors, along with dysfunctional family members, can create challenges. It is critical to think outside your client’s immediate needs by asking the following information:

  • What are my client’s goals and what is important to them?
  • Are my clients at-risk for depression, abuse, medication non-compliance, falls, malnutrition, home safety, and social isolation?
  • What resources can I leverage beyond finances, such as the client’s family, friends, and allied community resources?

3. Choose your collaborative partners wisely. Our aging clients’ situations are far more complex today than they were ten years ago. Having the right collaborative partners can reduce your liability, provide customized interventions, support decisions with expert rationale, and guide your clients down the right path. There are times when your clients will have needs beyond your scope of practice. It will require having a team of allied professionals who can help achieve your client’s goals.

4. Be adaptable, authentic, and appreciative. Working as a professional fiduciary is hard. It’s filled with difficult decisions and confrontations with clients, families, the court, and other professionals. It’s essential to remain:

  • Adaptable: be flexible to the continuous changes and permit yourself to make changes along the way.
  • Authentic: be a straight shooter and lay out the issues in a manner that is respectful, compassionate, and understanding. It will serve you well when having to deliver messages that others may not want to hear.
  • Appreciative: show appreciation for the individuals you are working with, even in the most contentious situations.
5. Embrace technology that delivers quality services more efficiently. It’s important to have the right tools to provide services more efficiently. Take the time to identify your flow of operations, bottlenecks, and redundancies with your team. Is there new technology to help with your daily tasks and be more productive?

I am confident these five principles can drive your business forward as we head into the holiday season. At the end of the day, it’s about taking the right actions that will lead to stronger relationships, higher retention, and more business.

As a PFAC member, I am inviting you to an exclusive webinar on the topic of Elder Care Technology: Innovation in the Face of Change. LivHOME will be revealing compelling data that speaks to how your older clients can reduce falls, hospitalizations, achieve greater medication compliance, and enhance their ability to age in the manner of their choice.

LivHOME is an avid support of PFAC. Learn about their professional elder care services in California. They provide clients with caregiving, care management, and care technology solutions.

This is a purchased placement. The information and views on this page are those of the author and not endorsed by PFAC.