Public invited to learn how to use new aging portal

Two public webinars are scheduled to help citizens, caregivers and others learn how to make the best use of the newly launched McMaster Optimal Aging Portal.

The first webinar on October 15 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time), will be facilitated by Anthony Levinson, who led the design and oversees the ongoing development of the Portal, which was created in order to offer direct and easy access to evidence-based information about how to stay healthy, active and engaged as we grow older.

The webinar is designed to help citizens learn how to use this innovative online resource to find the best available research evidence about issues related to optimal aging that they face in their own lives.  Levinson will describe the content of the Portal that is designed specifically for citizens, how it can be helpful, and the many ways that searches can be run in order for users to find the most relevant information.

The webinar can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection.

The second webinar on October 21, also from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time), will provide more in-depth information on how the content designed for citizens is evaluated and presented on the Portal. This webinar will be facilitated by Maureen Dobbins, a McMaster professor who leads the work on two of the key types of Portal content designed to engage citizens – Web Resource Ratings and Blog Posts.

Web Resource Ratings are evaluations of various types of information on aging that are freely available on the internet. Staff with the Portal review consumer-friendly items such as videos, information sheets, blogs and podcasts, then assess them for quality and relevance and assign then a star rating from one to five, before linking to them from the Portal. This feature is designed to help citizens sort through the masses of health-related information on the internet to identify only the most high-quality, trustworthy and reliable information about optimal aging.

Blog Posts are commentaries using the most recent evidence on topics specific to optimal aging.

To register for the second webinar, click here.

Levinson and Dobbins are two of the five key contributors to the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal. Levinson is an associate professor at McMaster University, researches online teaching and learning, and studies how to use technologies like the internet to improve health education. Dobbins is a professor in the School of Nursing and scientific director of the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. Her research focuses on knowledge translation and evidence-informed decision making among public health decision-makers in Canada.

To view a poster about the webinars, click here.