Inside Geriatric Social Worker Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"So Much Paperwork...
I am surprised at the conditions that many geriatric people are in. I am also very surprised by the amount of paper work that is involved in this job and how some issues never get resolved." (Social Worker; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Florida, female
School: Studied Sociology at Florida Atlantic University in Florida; completed Associate degree in 2012

"Lots Of Paperwork...
I was surprised how much paperwork must be done for each face to face visit with a client. I am surprised that for a one hour visit there may be 3-4 hours of paperwork to be done at the office." (Case Manager; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Minnesota, female
School: Studied Social Work at Minnesota State University Mankato in Minnesota; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

"Education Prepared Me Well...
I was surprised at how useful my education was for this career. The theories and all of the skills I learned make me succeed at my job." (Social Worker; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Texas, female
School: Studied Social Work at UTPB in Texas; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"Substantial On The Job Training...
I was really surprised with the hands on training I would have to go through. Also having to deal with various young adults issues can be stressful. I am always applying for grants to keep the program in the school funded." (Social Worker; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, female
School: Studied Business Admin at Govornors State Univ. in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 2007

"A Lot Of Paperwork Required...
I was surprised by how much paperwork was involved with the profession, and how little empathy some people in the field have. On the other hand, I was surprised about how great the satisfaction is in working with the elderly." (Case Manager; 2013)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Wisconsin, female
School: Studied English And Psychology at University Of Milwaukee Wisconsin in Wisconsin; completed Bachelor degree in 1976

"Technology Needs To Be Better Utilized In Social Work...
I am surprised at how little technology people in the social work field use. With all the technology today, I believe social workers would be able to communicate better with doctors, nurse, etc. if everyone learned to use technology to the fullest." (Protective Service Social Worker; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Massachusetts, female
School: Studied Social Work at Westfield State College in Massachusetts; completed Bachelor degree in 2009

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Geriatric Social Worker: "The best part of the job is interacting with families and patients who come to appointments unsure of what to do and are frustrated by the disease and it's behavioral manifestations. I love being able to provide concrete examples or assistance to help reduce caregiver stress and improve quality of life and piece of mind for both the caregiver and the patient. The worst parts of the job is the frustration of not being able to stop or reverse changes in the brain, working with resistant families, having to repeat myself over and over (and over) not only to different families, but sometimes to the same family, visit after visit." (2011)

Social Worker: "The most difficult part of working with older adults is the fact that many of them pass away over the course of our professional relationship. It's hard to have people die whom you know and have been working with for a couple of years. Also, services aren't always available to meet their needs and it's hard to tell them that there is no help available." (2009)

Career Background

Geriatric Social Worker

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips

"Intrinsic Motivation To Help...
You have to be intrinsically motivated to do his work, because the pay is low and the work is difficult." (Case Manager; 2013)

"Importance Of Personal Care...
Just remember that you will make an impact of on lives of people and in the end.. its all worth it. In social work, its important to work as a team with your coworkers and allow yourself to enjoy self-care every once in a while." (Protective Service Social Worker; 2013)

"Shadow People In Your Field...
Try to shadow people to know the exact line of work you want to get into." (Social Worker; 2013)

"Make Connections...
To be a social worker you must have a college degree. Make sure to utilize your time in college making connections in the social work world." (Case Manager; 2013)

"Learn All You Can In School...
I would take the time and learn as much as you can while in school. The things you learn will play a vital roll in your career." (Social Worker; 2013)

"Lessons In School Eventually Useful...
Pay attention in school. Everything comes back around and actually turns out to be very useful." (Social Worker; 2013)

"Take Care Of Yourself Too...
1. Learn as much medical terminology and as much about medications as possible. It will legitimize your expertise to families and your coworkers. 2. Always provide written reinforcement of the topics you recommended and explained verbally. People generally don't retain everything you explain, especially in high-emotion settings. 3. Follow good self-care practices, including limiting work hours, maintaining good boundaries, and confiding in coworkers to relieve stress and gain perspective. It is really easy to get burned out." (Geriatric Social Worker; 2011)

"Personal Attention...
Sometimes, I think the best thing I give to my clients is my personal attention. So try to be there for them and listen to what they say. Do this everywhere you go, with everyone you encounter. It is the simplest way to show you care." (Social Worker; 2009)