While designing a Web site for a community-based program for the frail elderly, I recently had the opportunity to review dozens of Web sites aimed at the needs of seniors and their family members. Two of the best sites I found are www.alz.org and www.alzheimers.com.
While broad-spectrum health care megasites provide plenty of information for consumers, sites that specialize in a single illness or condition have the advantage of one focus. Family physicians would do well to direct patients with Alzheimer's disease, their family members or those worried about symptoms to either of these sites.
At www.alz.org, users can increase their understanding of the disease, learn about living with and caring for people with Alzheimer's, obtain knowledge about diagnosis and treatment options, find local Alzheimer's disease chapters and read about research funded by the Alzheimer's Association, the national nonprofit organization that operates this site.
Those visiting www.alzheimers.com. com will find information about treatment options, disease history, providing care, risk factors, warning signs, breaking news and a discussion of other causes of dementia. The site's community board allows users to exchange tips and support. Alzheimers.com is published by NetHealth, which is owned by PlanetRx, an online pharmacy that also owns 17 other health-related Web sites.