Handling Your Client's Money

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How to Handle a Client’s Money

At YouMeCare we value matching a client’s needs with a skilled and compassionate caregiver who can help a client with whatever they need to live comfortably at home. Sometimes those needs include companionship and socialization, help with household chores, assistance with self-care activities like getting showered, dressed and ready for the day, and taking clients on errands or to medical appointments. Sometimes a client may give you money and ask you to go grocery shopping or pick up medications at the pharmacy on their behalf. 

Handling money from a client as a caregiver can be a delicate matter and should always be handled with care. Here's are a few steps to protect yourself and preserve an ethical, trusting relationship with your client:

Document everything. If you use your client’s money, always maintain clean and detailed records of every transaction. You might designate a notebook or ledger of some sort or create a digital document that you can add to and keep track of details such as the date and location of the errand, and the amount of the client’s money spent on that errand.  

Use a debit card, credit card or prepaid card instead of cash. Using a debit card or credit card will allow for a digital paper trail of the transaction which could be useful for future accounting of resources. If your client asks you to take cash, it is important that you document the amount of cash they gave you and the amount you spent so that it is clear what change they should get back.  

Keep all receipts. Regardless of the method of payment, cash, credit or debit, it is considered best practice to always get a receipt no matter how small the purchase. Keep the receipts in the same location as the transactions you document. 

Review each transaction. It is also a responsible practice to review each transaction with your client so that they are clear on the money you spent. In this way you can avoid any miscommunications about the expectations for the errand. Even if you have been named as an authorized user of your client’s credit card, it is important to be transparent and record the details of each transaction you make with the credit card.

Establish a reimbursement process. If you decide to use your own money for the client’s needs, ensure that you have discussed a reimbursement plan if you expect the client to pay you back. It is important that you and the client speak about this expectation up front prior to spending any of your own money for your client. 

Remember, the primary focus of your role as a caregiver is to provide compassionate care and support for your client. When money is changing hands, this support includes organization and transparency so that you can account for every penny should questions arise.