TITLE: ElderCare Online

ACCESS: http://www.ec-online.net/

The goal of ElderCare Online is to provide resources and support for the elderly and their caregivers. The site's founder, Rich O'Boyle, has a history of work with long-term care organizations and aging issues. A staff of contributing editors who include psychologists and counselors supports him. The site adheres to strict standards developed by the international organization Health on the Net, and provides medical, legal and financial information for educational purposes often based on personal opinions and experiences.

ElderCare Online consists of an online bi-monthly newsletter, an ElderCare forum, transcripts of speeches and articles, financial advice, as well as several discussion groups with dates and times for chat users. A "Hot Topic" is also highlighted along with additional links, networks and software assistants. An online search center is provided through "Google" and enables the user to search the site by keyword. An online archive maintains an alphabetical index to articles and publications that can also be accessed by category.

The site began in 1998 and is kept very current. While the homepage intends to be comprehensive, it may appear busy to the inexperienced user with its many choices, abundant text and varied advertising and links lining the page. This should not present a problem to the university student but it may be confusing for a caregiver attempting to weave through the site for specific information. In particular, this site provides excellent coverage of Alzheimer's Disease.

ElderCare Online provides comprehensive, practical information for the beginning researcher seeking initial information and relevant vocabulary on aging issues particularly in the fields of sociology, psychology or medicine. For the user caring for the elderly, the site provides extensive support and an online community committed to improving the quality of life of both the caregiver and the elder.

Beth Chapman
Willamette University

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