The Elderly and the Internet, comment


I agree, largely that we should not underestimate the benefits of using technology and internet resources in the elderly population as well as the younger very “tech friendly” populations. However, I think it important to ensure that we aim to reach our designated population and not simply see internet alone as a sufficient answer to a problem of education. For example, I know of elderly people who have difficulty reading computer screens and small sized fonts. If a website is geared for educating the elderly, it could have larger font directly, or louder volumes if sound is a part of the site. I feel it is important to use marketing strategies here for the purpose of best educating our focused populations. I also feel it necessary to include here the importance of ensuring education on seeing a doctor or advanced practice provider if one is experiencing symptoms. As a nurse, I have seen many times, people self “diagnose” themselves based on infromation received from internet sources, some even reputable. For lay individuals, there are many benefits to receiving education on healthcare maintenance, nutrition and disease prevention, however we as providers should also educate on the importance of receiving advaced practice assessment when symptoms actually arise. It would be a great shame, and unfortunately is a rather regular occurence to many, to let a easily treated or even potentially life threatening symptom go missed and untreated due to mis”diagnosis” by a lay individual based on information received from the internet. Again, i think it incredibly helpful to promote education from any reputable source, howvere, diagnosis and assessment can rarely be substituted for an advanced practitioner’s trained eye, ear and mind.

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