Vision impaired senior grateful for Senior Financial Care services

Vision impaired senior grateful for Senior Financial Care services
February 24
14:09 2021

Program of Financial Pathways of the Piedmont provides bill pay, among other services

By Lisa Terry

A national crisis does not stop the needs of our older neighbors. The pandemic has required Financial Pathways of the Piedmont, as with most human service organizations, to adjust our service methodology from in-person direct service to phone and virtual services. 

During the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in June 2020, we received a call from a 65-year-old visually impaired man who needed help. James explained to the counselor that he is employed and receives Social Security benefits. Not only is James blind, but he is also hearing impaired. He was interested in the services of our Senior Financial Care (SFC) program but due to the pandemic guidelines, we were unable to meet with him in person or provide in-home services. The counselor offered to contact James’ bank to explain his situation and she was assured that they would be able to advise him of his bank balances anytime he called. He had been able to pay his bills most of the time and had adequate income, but little things would fall through the cracks.

As time passed the pandemic showed no signs of slowing, but the needs of our seniors were increasingly jeopardized due to isolation and fear. SFC staff discussed and approved a COVID protocol in which to safely conduct in-person services in the event of an urgent situation that would cause undue risk if they were unable to receive help.

In October 2020, SFC staff conducted the first in-home visit with James. After the initial assessment, it became clear he needed much more than his occasional bank balance. He had stacks of mail and papers he was unable to decipher as bills or junk. James had a friend who had helped him from time to time, but was not dependable. The counselor provided an overview of Senior Financial Care’s in-home bill pay services and James was immediately interested. He was surprised that he had never heard of this service in our community.

Now our Senior Financial Care counselor visits James in his home once a month, following our COVID protocol, masked and socially distanced. She looks over his mail, reviews his electronic bill payments, bank reconciliation since the prior month’s visit, and any other needs or changes. She updates his check register and then files everything for him in his personal filing system. 

Referrals to additional service providers for grocery shopping and transportation were recommended and are now in place to give James greater security. Other business matters regarding the change of his homeowner’s association, misfiled medical bills, and free tax preparation services have also been managed successfully with the help of Senior Financial Care. 

James is constantly impressed about our services, which has greatly reduced his stress and increased his overall financial well-being. 

Now his biggest wish is to find someone to drive him around on his Harley. He would be thrilled!

Lisa Terry is director of financial management for Financial Pathways of the Piedmont.

The Senior Financial Care® (SFC) program works to help adults aged 60 and older improve the management of their finances so they can live independently and age in place. Many seniors face the difficult challenge of surviving on a fixed income at a time in life when they typically have increased health care expenses. Our trained and certified counselors specialize in helping senior citizens navigate the range of unique financial challenges they face. If desired, other family members can attend these counseling sessions. Families often benefit from having an impartial third party assess the aging adult’s finances and clarify the situation for everyone affected.

To arrange an appointment, call 336-896-1328; toll free 888-474-8015; or email All counseling sessions are currently being conducted by phone during the pandemic.

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