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Helping Seniors “Net” Health Care Information

Although navigating the Internet can be intimidating for older people, it is often under-utilized as a valuable resource for seniors searching for health care information.

Health information systems specialists, nurses and research librarians at Duquesne University are collaborating on a unique community outreach and research project to teach area seniors how to use a computer, and how to access and evaluate health care information on the Internet.

"Through this training program, we are giving seniors the tools necessary to take a more active role in managing their own health and wellness," said Dr. Bob Campbell, associate professor of health management systems at Duquesne and the primary investigator of the project.

The first phase of this health care literacy project, Empowering Seniors Through Health Information Literacy, will continue through December 7 with training sessions for seniors that will focus on:

. using a computer and Web browser to access the Internet
. locating health-related information using search engines
. evaluating health information found on the Internet
. finding and using relevant, quality Web sites for reliable health
information

The sessions, from 10-11:30 a.m. on Nov. 16, 23 and 30, and Dec. 7, will be held at the Jewish Community Center at 5738 Forbes Ave. in Squirrel Hill. The five-week course is at capacity and has a waiting list.

During the past year training sessions have also been held at Oasis, the Carnegie Library in Oakland, and senior residences K. Leroy Irvis Towers in the Hill District and St. Justin Plaza in Mt. Royal.

"Our hope is to recruit those who have successfully completed the program to serve as trainers and resources in the future for their peers," said Campbell.

Empowering Seniors Through Health Information Literacy, which is funded by a grant from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, was recently selected by the National Nursing Centers Consortium as a "Best Practice" for caring for the elderly in your community.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
www.duq.edu