Career Story: Patient Advocate

Patient Advocate

Job Title: Elderly Services Care Advisor

Type of Company: My agency is a not-for-profit "Aging Services Access Point" which receives government funding to provide social services, home based care, and nutrition to the elderly in eight towns.

Education: MS, Gerontology

Previous Experience: Homemaker Supervisor Case manager for the elderly Elderly Low-Income Housing Manager

Job Tasks: I help low-income seniors receive services they need to remain living at home. I help them get home health workers to come into their homes to help them with bathing, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking. I help the elders fill out food stamp applications and access other services they might need to stay at home. I help them apply for government benefits like MassHealth. I help them get medical equipment which might make it easier for them to live at home. I help them get transportation to medical appointments. I help them with getting signed up to attend meal sites and help them with translating if they do not speak English. I work with many Russian- and Chinese-speaking seniors and although I do not speak these languages, often they need me to just be patient and understand a few simple statements of theirs, and then I can call an agency and advocate on their behalf. Sometimes we call a relative or other professional to translate but often they need me to just call their landlord and explain that their sink is not working which is easy enough to demonstrate. Mostly they need someone to call various agencies or doctors' offices and advocate on their behalf.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part is helping people.

The worst part is doing hours of data-entry and paperwork that is required because these services are paid for by the state and federal government. But it's important to document what work is done and what the elder needs, in case I can't come to work, my co-workers can check my records and continue to help the elder. So it's time-consuming and boring but important.

Job Tips: It would be helpful to have a degree in social work to not only help the seniors but help build your careers. There are many more jobs available to people with masters degrees in Social Work (MSW) than there are for other social work degrees. It would be worth putting the time in to get the degree that will open more doors and provide higher compensation for your whole career.

Additional Thoughts: Social work is also a great way to work and raise children. I now work "part time" (24 hours) and it's the only way I could work with two young children.

Popular Schools offering Social Work Programs

Results:  10
Matching School Ads

Founded in 1839, Boston University is one of America’s largest and most respected private research universities. It offers a unique combination of academic excellence and social relevance for its more than 32,000 students from 135 different countries.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Sacred Heart University offer signature humanistic core principles and degree programs offering interactive learning, personal attention, small classes, and rigorous academics.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

At Widener University, we proudly cultivate challenging and culturally diverse learning environments where academics, leadership, and service come first. Founded in 1821 in Chester, Pennsylvania, Widener is nationally recognized for our commitment to civic engagement, service, and social responsibility. It is our goal to develop true leaders who inspire positive change throughout our community.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Winthrop University is a public, comprehensive university located just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, 

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online
Selected Programs:
  • Master of Social Work

Technology changes everything®

You’ve found Ashford University, where school comes to you

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Our Lady of the Lake University is a private, Catholic university with a deep connection to the history and community of San Antonio. Founded in 1895 by the Congregation of Divine Providence, we have developed a reputation for our personal teaching style. Since 2011, OLLU has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. We are a university that helps students develop their full potential in an environment that's encouraging and stimulating.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Why earn your degree at Grand Canyon University? GCU is a regionally accredited university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more. Apply today!

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online
Selected Programs:
  • BS - Human Services

Additional Career Stories for Social Workers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Social Workers, including:

Back to Top