By Tammy Ruggles
Seventy-year-old Thomasina Alexandra just got a computer for her birthday, and doesn’t know where to start. With a few lessons from her grandchildren, she is ready to surf the web, but she isn’t exactly familiar with the websites that would be right for her. Her grandchildren are teenagers, so they aren’t familiar with websites that would appeal to seniors, which leaves her calling her best friend Rhoda, also 70, to ask which websites she recommends for web surfers their age.
That’s the problem with good information today. We know it’s on the internet somewhere, but we aren’t sure where to look.
Whether you’re still a spring chicken at 50, or have a senior parent, this list of 10 websites for seniors is more than just useful; it can actually be life-saving:
1. WebMD.com: This website offers an array of medical information all in one place, from arthritis to the zone diet. The information is supplied by physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals. It’s a reliable source for those seeking answers for health concern they may have, or for those just curious to learn more about a health issue. It also has sections to help locate a doctor, learn more about a certain type of medication, or check symptoms you or someone you know may be having.
2. AARP.org: This is the official site of the organization, American Association of Retired Persons, and is a one-stop website for retired persons over 50, and seniors looking for resources, ideas, referrals, services, benefits, discounts, and products. This site offers information on a variety of subjects, from choosing the best vacation package to dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease.
3. SeniorNet.org: For the senior looking to learn more computer skills, this website for the nonprofit organization is perfect. At this center a senior can learn to use e-mail, enhance photos, create websites, keep financial records, and communicate with family, friends, and others around the world. Seniors are encouraged to take computer classes and network with one another for support, friendship, and education.
4. ExperienceWorks.org: This website helps seniors find employment, get training for employment, and promotes seniors as mature, reliable, experienced employees to communities and potential employers.
5. SeniorSummerSchool.com: For the senior who has gone to college and wishes to return, and for the senior who wants to attend college for the first time. This site is the entryway into summer classes at colleges across the country designed specifically for seniors. Whether the classes are for employment, leisure, or a combination of both, this website helps link seniors who think that there is no age limitation on education.
6. GoldViolin.com: When you are in search of just the right pill organizer or walking canes, this website is the perfect place to visit. Not only are the products functional, they are aesthetic, from pill caddies shaped like fruit or flowers, to big button phones, to lightweight travel chairs. These products are designed with the senior in mind.
7. SeniorDiscounts.com: The name of the website says it all, offering over 140,000 discounts for seniors on products from laundry detergents to auto insurance. There is a newsletter that seniors can sign up for, which keeps the member abreast of new discounts as they become available. Some seniors already know they can get discounts at restaurants and state parks, but did you know you can get them at places like video stores?
8. SnowBird.net: For the senior who believes life begins after retirement, this website is the ideal place to visit for information on travel discounts, new, exciting, and relaxing destinations, and how to get the most out of an active senior lifestyle.
9. GrandMagazine.com: The perfect site for grandparents, it provides stories and information on topics from grandparents raising grandchildren, to knowing when to butt in or stay out of a family dispute.
10. Games.yahoo.com: This site is packed with your favorite games, from checkers to card games. Some are free and some are not, some are downloadable, and some are available to order, some you play alone and some you can play with online opponents, but you are sure to find something that will entertain you for hours on end.
BONUS SITE: ALifeAhead.com: This is an informational site for those over 50. Here you’ll find resources on a variety of topics, from health, to politics, to finances.
Besides the websites listed above, you will find websites devoted to sending greeting cards, making a family tree, exchanging recipes, getting support if you are raising your grandchildren, hunting, fishing, gardening–the choices are endless, so start surfing now.