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About Web Resource Ratings

There is a lot of health information or "Web Resources" freely available on the internet. A Web Resource is any item you find online that you can watch, read, listen to, or interact with, such as videos, fact sheets and online quizzes. Many resources are consumer-friendly, but it's often difficult to know which ones have credible information, based on scientific research. Web Resource Ratings do the homework for you, assessing the quality of health information available online and presenting our assessment using a 5-star rating scale.

There are three stages of Web Resource Rating:

  1. Assessing inclusion of websites
    Websites we include must be:
    • Not directly funded by a company trying to sell you a product or service
    • Relevant to optimal aging
    • Intended for citizens, or include content intended for citizens
    • Free access
  2. Assessing inclusion of Web Resources from included websites
    Web Resources we review must be:
    • Not directly funded by a company trying to sell you a product or service
    • Relevant to optimal aging
    • Intended for citizens
    • Less than 5 years of age

  3. Assessing quality of included Web Resources
    Web Resources are rated for quality with three criteria:
    • Evidence-based: Is this information reliable, based on scientific research?
    • Transparency: Is it clear who developed the resource and how?
    • Usability: Is the information easy to understand and easy to use?

Each Web Resource Rating also provides a summary of the content, including any information that you can act on related to optimal aging.

If you cannot find a website or Web Resource Rating that you are looking for, check out our list of excluded websites. If you still can’t find it, let us know; we may be rating it now!

Recent Web Resource Ratings

  • Abuse of power of attorney

    Seniors First BC
    There are several types of power of attorney that exist and each type has differing levels of power and responsibility. Use this resource to recognize when someone in this role is abusing their power.
  • Elder Abuse: The Hidden Crime

    Community Legal Education Ontario
    Use this guide to learn all things about elder abuse, such as signs, types of abuse, how to prevent and report abuse and more. Information on financial help from the Ontario government and legal information is also offered for your convenience.
  • Guardianship

    Seniors First BC
    When someone is unable to make decisions due to incapacity or disability, a legal guardian is appointed. Use this resource to learn the difference between a guardian of the person and a guardian of the estate and the responsibilities of each role.
  • Becoming a guardian of property

    Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
    This resource answers all your questions on becoming a guardian of property and outlines the process of being appointed as well as responsibilities and limitations to authority.
  • Duties and Powers of a guardian of property

    Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
    If you have been appointed as a guardian of property, use this resource to learn about your legal responsibilities and authority. In this role, you are allowed to make decisions on behalf of the incapable person’s property but you cannot make a will.
  • Power of Attorney for Personal Care

    Community Legal Education Ontario
    Use this resource to answer all your questions about powers of attorney for personal care and clarify the differences between this role and a power of attorney for property. If you need help choosing a power of attorney or want legal advice, resources are provided for your convenience.

Understanding our star rating system

Each Web Resource is rated using a star system on a scale from 0-5. The more stars, the higher the quality with 5 being the maximum. These ratings are weighted to favour content that is informed by scientific research evidence, followed by transparency in its creation and ease of use. When you search for Web Resource Ratings on a particular topic, the ones with the highest ratings are presented first.

Our raters

Staff working on the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal conduct the assessments of the resources. Two staff members independently rate each resource and come to an agreement on its rating. Any disagreements in ratings are discussed until consensus is reached.

DISCLAIMER: Web Resource Ratings are provided for informational purposes only and to facilitate discussions with your healthcare providers, family members, or informal care givers. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professionals. The Portal is not responsible for the content of external websites, nor is it an endorsement of that website or the site’s owners (or their products/services). The Web Resource Ratings may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (Send email to Portal).

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