When it comes to your health, there are a million places you can turn to (especially on the web). So, how do seniors know where to go? Whether you or a loved one needs some extra support or has unanswered questions, it’s important that you go to the right place to find that peace of mind. Here are three helpful tips on how to find the best health and wellness resources for seniors:
1. Talk to Your Personal Doctor First
While this might feel like the easy answer, it’s also the smartest! Your regular doctor not only has a team of experts who can help them answer your questions, but they have a strong understanding of your wellness history. For example, some techniques, treatments or therapies that you find online might not be the best fit for you based on some preexisting conditions. A professional can point you in the right direction and give you reading material, insights and ideas you can trust.
If you’re unable to leave home, consider reaching out to your local healthcare facility to schedule a telehealth appointment. These types of virtual appointments can even be coupled with regular patient monitoring or mobile health programs.
2. Connect With Local Senior Living Staff
If you or a loved one is a part of a senior living community, consider using the staff expertise to help guide your decisions or answer your questions. More often than not, onsite personnel have access to a wealth of resources for seniors to help point you in the right direction. In addition, most communities employ health professionals.
Their support will help you know where to look for answers, even when it comes down to the little things like a change in diet or an increase in exercise.
3. Vet the Sources You Consult Online
The internet is an amazing tool with a library of infinite information, but with that comes the possibility of less credible sources. As such, when searching for answers to your questions, always judge your findings against the following criteria:
- Who hosts or sponsors this website? (If it’s a business rather than a government-sponsored or well-known medical organization, you might want a second opinion).
- Who is writing the content I’m reading? (Is it a medical or health professional?) What is their goal?
- When was the information written?
- What is the overall purpose of the website I am on?
- Does this website offer solutions that feel too good to be true?
These questions can help you identify websites that may have harmful intent or simply provide inaccurate information. If you’re not sure how to answer some of the questions above, ask a trusted family member or friend to review the website with you.
And remember, social media is not always a credible source of information. While it’s a great tool to keep up with family or connect with old friends, it’s difficult to sort information by its credibility. It’s also important to keep in mind that what worked for someone else won’t always work for you—their experience may be completely different because of their unique background.
Getting Started: Credible Resources for Seniors to Use Now
If you’re already on the web and looking to do some reading, here are a few websites we recommend you use:
- National Health Institute on Aging: a good resource for general wellness and health information for seniors from a national organization.
- American Psychiatric Association and the Alzheimer’s Association: provides resources for caregivers, family members and seniors on memory care and mental-health-related topics.
- MedlinePlus for Seniors: a library of peer-reviewed medical publications and information for seniors.
Remember, it’s always okay to ask for a second opinion or speak with trusted doctors and family members if you still have questions. Your health should always be a priority, no matter your age—just make sure you’ve got the best information and resources to guide you along the way!