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

  • Making Memories: Activities for Older Adults to Preserve Your Personal and Family Legacy

    Institute on Aging
    Compiling memories with older adults with dementia can be both a fun activity and a way to establish a legacy. Look for photos, gather recipes, and get ready to have meaningful conversations. Not only will this activity be enjoyable for you both, it will also be meaningful to future generations. Read this resource to learn more.
  • The Who Am I? Scrapbook

    Today's Caregiver
    Creating a Who Am I? scrapbook can be a fun way to bring the family together to celebrate the life of a loved one in care. This scrapbook tells the life of a person and can help caregivers know their patients better. Get ready to be creative! Read this resource to learn more.
  • Linking the Past to the Present - The Benefits of Reminiscing

    Today's Caregiver
    Remembering the past can help older adults with memory loss regain their sense of identity. Reminiscence can also help caregivers connect with their loved ones in a meaningful way. There are many other benefits to reminiscence. Read this resource to learn more.
  • Reminiscence Therapy and Activities for Seniors

    A Place For Mom
    Reminiscence therapy helps older adults recall specific positive memories using their 5 senses. It can be useful for older adults with dementia and Alzheimer's. It has been found to improve overall quality of life and could be a form of therapy to look into for yourself or your loved one. Read this resource to learn more.
  • Loss and Grief During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Canadian Mental Health Association
    Grief is a common feeling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people are grieving lost loved ones and others may be grieving their loss of routines or social circles. Grief occurs differently for each person but you may be experiencing the different forms. Learn about the different types and how even the most unexpected experiences can cause grief. Read this resource to learn more.
  • Dating at Any Age

    Institute on Aging
    There are some things you should look out for if you are dating as an older adult. Online dating sites leave any vetting up to the user. If you decide to meet someone, make sure you are in a public space and that you don't share your personal information right away. Read this resource to learn more.

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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Support for the Portal is largely provided by the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative. AGE-WELL is a contributing partner. Help us to continue to provide direct and easy access to evidence-based information on health and social conditions to help you stay healthy, active and engaged as you grow older. Donate Today.

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