Photograph of an older woman being assisted to walk to a car by two other women; photo source: Administration on Aging, DHHS Competency Demonstration

Advocacy Competency

Advocate for health, social, and financial needs of older adults at the policy level.

A competency demonstration provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate that you have developed one or more of the Competencies for Working with Older Adults. Presentation: Competencies for Working with Older Adults

Demonstrate your Advocacy Competency by completing the Advocate for Older Adults project. 

If you are using these Older Adult Focus materials for self-study, completing a competency demonstration gives you an end product that you can share with others for professional purposes, such as in a portfolio for employment application or as a demonstration of meeting a professional goal for an annual review. Once you have completed the competency demonstration, wait for at least 3 days and then use the criteria to evaluate your own work. Alternatively, you could ask another person to use the evaluation criteria and discuss your work with you.

If you are using these Older Adult Focus materials as part of an organized course or workshop, consult your course leader regarding how to turn in your completed competency demonstration.

 Drawing of pencil and checklist Advocate for Older Adults

Choose a health policy issue related to older adults that you identified when doing the learning activities. Based on a systematic analysis of the identified health policy issue, advocate for a preferred solution using one of the following mechanisms:

  • Letter to policy maker
  • Resolution to a professional organization
  • Testimony before a legislative body, commission, or organizational board
  • Guest editorial in a newspaper, journal, or magazine

Prepare your letter, resolution, testimony, or editorial in written form, formatted as if you were going to send it to the appropriate venue. You are not required to send the material to the policymaker, newspaper, etc. (but you may if you wish). 


  • Format your work as if you were going to submit it to the appropriate venue.
  • Spell-check and proofread your written work.

For a grade of pass, your demonstration will meet these criteria:

  • Chooses appropriate contact person(s) who can influence the solution. Correctly addresses the person(s).
  • Chooses appropriate approach (letter, resolution, testimony, editorial).
    • Approach conforms to criteria for this type of lobbying strategy.
  • Frames the issue (emphasizes the societal dimensions of the problem).
  • Has clarity of message, purpose, and need.
    • Clearly identifies the problem being addressed.
    • Clearly identifies a specific, desired action by the reader/listener.
    • Makes a case for the importance of the problem (answers the ''so what?" question).
    • Makes a practical appeal to support the solution.
  • Generates interest in the topic (induces the reader to read to the end and to be concerned).
  • Capitalizes on your professional credibility as a registered nurse or other professional in the field of aging.
  • Spelling, grammar, punctuation, format, and style reflect a professional approach.

Revised 2010

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