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

  • Finding Transportation Services for Seniors

    Aging Care
    With so many options available for different needs, finding the right alternative transportation mode can be hard for seniors. This resource simplifies all your options in order to understand the advantages and limitations of each choice.
  • Are elderly drivers at a greater risk for the roads and should they be prohibited from driving? New study says “No.”

    Senior drivers can be a risk for other drivers on the road or even pedestrians if appropriate safety measures are not taken. This resource advocates for senior drivers by stating that removing the independence achieved from driving on their own can lead to social isolation and depression.
  • An Affordable Alternative for Older Adults Who Can’t Drive

    Aging Care
    Senior drivers can be a risk for other drivers on the road or even pedestrians if appropriate safety measures are not taken. Use this resource to learn how to plan for senior transportation financially and how to approach seniors about this topic.
  • What Seniors Need To Know About Ride Sharing

    Aging in place
    Ride sharing is a convenient mode of transportation for seniors who do not feel comfortable driving on their own. Use this resource to learn the benefits of ride sharing and how to choose the best ride share program that fits our needs.
  • Stair Chair Lifts for Seniors

    Senior living
    If a senior is living in a home with stairs, it can become difficult to get around and safety can become an issue if they are living alone. Stair chair lifts are an accessible option for those looking to stay in their homes and the costs can be subsidized depending on where you live.
  • Walkers for Seniors

    Senior living
    If you are a senior who is looking to buy of start using a walker in order to get around, this resource describes the many kinds of walkers that can simplify your life. Before buying a walker, make sure you understand which type is best for you and check if you are covered under insurance for this purchase.

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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