senior_workWhen people aspire to work with seniors, they often default to thinking job options are largely limited to nursing care. While I’m sure the vast majority of jobs in this wide and growing sector are centered around nursing-type services, there is a whole world of other options to getting work in aging services. For my part, the path was never even intentional. I’d graduated from college with a BA in English. From that, desperate to find a “real” job, I applied for work as a social worker at a nursing home. Mind you, this was before state rules had changed, mandating all licensed social workers have the pertinent number of college credits in social work. The rules changed after I was hired, but I was grandfathered, and went on to become a fully licensed social worker (with years of social work consultations along the way).

Of course, it wasn’t the BA in English that got me the social work job, it was my interview and the fact I was taking graduate school classes to get a Master’s in Public Policy and Management. The nursing home administrator liked the fact I was advancing my knowledge. I suspect, though can’t prove, that she may have also liked the idea of having a male social worker in a building overwhelmingly staffed by women. She may have sought a bit of diversity.

That job, and my graduate studies, and the social work license, led to other jobs in aging services. I eventually became a supervisor at an Area Agency on Aging, and advanced there. Then I went on to become the director of an adult day service housed within an Alzheimer’s care center. That job, combined with my extra efforts to engage in the professional community within the state, led to work for the state itself in the Office of Elder Services working with all of the state’s area agencies on aging, which then led to work at the state’s Medicaid office, and so on.

My point is, whether you’re fresh out of college or looking for a career change, and you think aging services would be rewarding work (it is), you don’t have to become a nurse or gerontologist. You don’t need even need to enter a political management degree program or social work. Following are just some of the options that are open to you.


Information and Referral Specialist
Meal Site Management (think Meals on Wheels as just one example)
Planning and Policy Development
Program Director
Volunteer Administration

Financial and Legal Services

Certified Guardian
Elder Law
Estate Planner
Fraud Prevention
Insurance Sales
Retirement Planner
Senior Move Manager

Fitness and Wellness

Nutrition Counseling
Physical Therapy
Occupational Therapy

Health Care Services

Activity Director
Adult Day Care
Disability Management Specialist
Geriatric Care Manager
Respite Care

Really, you’re limited only by your drive and creativity. You can even do something like writing on these matters, as I’ve come to do.

That said, nursing probably IS the most direct route into aging services work. But if you want to follow a path similar to what I did, you can earn a political degree online from George Washington University or some other reputable school.


Download the Elder Abuse Suspicion Index (EASI) for Clinical Use

November 17, 2016

According to the Administration on Aging, hundreds of thousands of older adults are subject to abuse, neglect, and exploitation each year. The victims are older, frail, and vulnerable. They are often in the vulnerable position of depending on others to meet their most basic needs. Abusers of older adults are both women and men, and […]

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AARP’s Family Caregivers and Managed Long-term Services and Supports Report

November 14, 2016

The AARP has issued the first major research paper in the emerging field of managed long-term services and supports (LTSS) to address family caregiver needs. Their argument is that managed care can lead the way to advancing person and family-centered care. The report, the AARP states, provides the tools and policy recommendations to pave the […]

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What does Donald Trump’s presidential win mean for seniors?

November 9, 2016

Donald Trump, to the surprise of many, did it; and not only did Republicans take the Oval Office, they will now control the House and Senate as well. The big question now is: What does this mean for seniors? The short answer is “we don’t yet know,” but there are things we can begin to […]

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The Long Distance Grandparent – Staying Connected

October 31, 2016

“grandPad” has created a helpful infographic on keeping connected with family members via modern technology. There are a variety of methods some may have not heard of. See below. Presented By grandPad

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Family Caregiver Alliance’s Palliative Care 101 Webinar, November 9th

October 26, 2016

The Family Caregiver Alliance, National Center on Caregiving is offering a Palliative Care 101 webinar on Wed, Nov 9, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST. What is it? Who needs it? Why is it important? Where do we get it? Palliative care helps to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for individuals with […]

Read more.’s Nursing Home Compare Search Tool

October 24, 2016

One question caregivers and family are often faced with when their loved one can no longer live independently due to illness or frailty is: How do we choose a nursing home? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as every individual case is different. Do you select the nursing home just down the road […]

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Understanding Medicare Webinar – Open Enrollment October 15th

September 30, 2016

Medicare Open Enrollment begins October 15, so now is the time to refresh your understanding of key components of the Medicare program. The National Information & Referral Center is hosting a webinar on Understanding Medicare. This webinar will teach you about Medicare eligibility and coverage options as well as educational resources from Medicare Made ClearTM that can assist […]

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