I like to make home visits to my clients. I practice in a small town, and most of my clients are in the surrounding few towns. Meeting in someone's home is quite different from meeting in the office, in a good way. The client feels more at ease, they don't have to lug the tackle box from the closet with all of their important papers into my office, they can just have it on the kitchen table. The conversations are different - when they are talking about the daughter who worries them because of her lifestyle they can point to pictures of her on the refrigerator at her wedding, or they can show me the collage their grown children made for their father's memorial service and I can see how he looked as a young man in the service, then with his kids as they grew, and finally a poingent picture taken by the eldest son of the father whose mind had been lost to Alzheimer's.
Clients have shown me their different collections, describing where they got each one and who would get it after they died. One client took me around her house to show me some of her treasures - who did I think the Japanese tea set should go to? and would anyone want the dining table or should it just be sold at a yard sale? had she shown me the picture of herself as a young girl in Poland? We had tea and lemon cake and talked about her friends at her widow support group - there was a bit of a scandel going on: one was flirting with the other's boyfriend. That was when it dawned on me that people - whether they are 16 or 75 - are pretty much the same. We want to think we matter, that our lives matter, and that people will want the things that represented our lives after we are gone, (and we certainly don't want anyone else flirting with our boyfriend.) This same client always insisted on a hug when I arrived, and when I was leaving.
Meeting with clients in their home gives me a glimpse into their lives that I wouldn't get if I just met with them at my office. This can help me figure out what they really need and want for their future plans, it can let me know if their home is safe, and if they have enough food. If necessary I can talk to them about other services that might be available to help them with these issues. It also provides them with companionship that many elderly are lacking. I consider it an honor to be invited into my clients' homes, and it is one of my favorite parts of the work I do.