Reliable information on healthy aging and long-term care

In a sea of health information, it can be challenging to navigate the waters and find what’s credible and relevant. Furthermore, not all research findings apply to older adults — a population that may react differently to treatments and may have different needs.

Luckily, there are several good resources to turn to. Three Canadian organizations — The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH),  RxFiles, and McMaster University — are focusing on health evidence for older adults and have made the information publicly available.

CADTH has bundled its research reports and reviews on the topic of long-term care in a new section of its website for easy access: www.cadth.ca/longtermcare. Here you can browse the evidence by topics such as falls and bone fractures, mental health, pressure ulcers, nutrition, and more.

RxFiles has developed a repository of information on long-term care and residential care, drawing from its own reports and brokering CADTH work: www.rxfiles.ca/ltc. To make it user-friendly, the information is sorted by category for health care providers, long-term care administrators, and residents and their families.

McMaster University has launched the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal which features evidence-based information about healthy aging for seniors and their caregivers: http://www.mcmasteroptimalaging.org/. Along with blog posts and evidence summaries, the Portal also rates the quality of online health information based on a 5-star rating system. You can also sign up for weekly email alerts when new content is available.

If you are someone who needs to make decisions about the health care of an older person, it’s important that you have credible, objective evidence to inform your decisions. These three websites provide a trusted gateway to health information, with a shared goal of improving health and health care for older adults. Hopefully you will find the information contained there useful.