web sites of special interest for retirees


 

General Sites for seniors
The Administration on Aging's Elderpage link

Here's a powerful resource and good launching point for a journey into the Web in search of government agencies and services. The page includes links to the AOA's Eldercare Locator, health and health services, Medicare and Medicaid, financial planning, medicines, housing, Social Security, becoming a US citizen and more. There's an abundance of useful information here.

ThirdAge link

The term 'ThirdAge' is derived from the European concept of a Third Age - an extended period of active adulthood that starts in the early 50s. If you like to talk on-line, Thirdage could be the place. This site is a maze of discussion groups on a range of subjects, such as finance, health and entertainment. Experts adjudicate on-line discussions which are scheduled in advance. Thirdage also has an "explore" area where you'll find web site reviews under headings like "Healthy Living" and "News and Opinion." This is a helpful collection of links, and the reviews could save you some surfing time. In its "marketplace," Thirdage offers a similar set of links for on-line shoppers looking for flowers, cards, holidays... even real-estate.

SeniorCom link

SeniorCom also has chat rooms (with an on-line shorthand dictionary) on a wide range of topics. Read a short set of rules, join up and jump right in. One of SeniorCom's stronger features is a well-planned set of links quaintly laid out around an image of a town square. Click on City Hall for government information, or the travel agent for travel sites. Other areas include a "Senior News Network" page with descriptions and links to magazines aimed at people over 50. SeniorCom also has a Money Club for financial information, and a Lifestyles area that looks at housing problems and retirement communities. For an overview of the site, go to SeniorCom's clearly laid out site map.

The American Association of Retired Persons link

This site is focused on senior issues. The AARP wants you to stand up for your rights as a senior citizen on Medicare, managed care and Social Security issues. From these pages you can read the facts and current debates, and get the email address of someone you can write to with your opinion. This site is required reading for those interested in the politics and public policy issues of getting older.

 

Surfing 101
Explore the Internet link

Trying to find out about the Internet? The Library of Congress' 'Explore the Internet' page is a good starting point. Here you can learn about the Internet, how to use it, its history and growth and how it works. It gives a list of search engines and has links to tutorials and other internet information. It also has a list of government sites.

While you're in the Library of Congress, have a look around. You can access America's history in text, photos, film and sound. Listen to Calvin Coolidge talking about equal rights. Or go to an exhibition. It's not every day you visit the Library of Congress... but this web site offers that option.

Senior Net link

If you're looking for computer training, Seniornet is a non-profit organization that aims to give computing skills to seniors. The organization runs seminars for seniors across the country (at their web site you will find a list of their local offices). Senior Net also has an interesting range of interactive discussion groups on over 200 topics of special interest to seniors.

Introduction to Web Surfing for Senior Adults. link

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has an Introduction to Web Surfing for Senior Adults. Dashing through OMSI's four sessions won't take you long and will give you the basic skills to use browsers and email, whatever your age. Although many of the links are for Portland people, others are of use to everyone. For example: http://odin.cc.pdx.edu/~psu01435/newbie.html offers glossaries of computer terms and http://www.liszt.com/ offers email lists for discussions on hundreds of subjects. If you're not getting enough email - why not get on a list?

An Atlas of Cyberspaces link

To find out more about how the Web works and what it looks like, go to University College London's Atlas of Cyberspaces. This site shows off the fruits of various researchers' map-making journeys across the web. The result is a colorful collection of geographic and abstract maps of cyberspace. This bizarre and intriguing material will amaze artists and nerds alike.

 

News
HOTLINKS - Newspaper Association of America link

Here's a way to keep in touch with your old hometown! This web site must be the most exhaustive collection of links to newspapers on the web: just pick a state from the map and then choose your newspaper. There's everything from The Birmingham News in Alabama to the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, and taking in The New York Times somewhere along the way.

Then surf on around the world (testing your language skills) from Aftenposten (Oslo, Norway) to Yamanashi Nichi-Nichi (Japan). You may be late for dinner.

TVWEBLink link

This list of web sites for the networks and major broadcasters in the US runs from ABC to the Weather Channel. The networks have dense, colorful sites that focus on up-to-the minute news.

The MIT List of Radio Stations on the Internet link

Here's a collection of links giving information about over 4000 radio stations worldwide! If your radio sounds a little fuzzy, type in the name of your city or state to get a list of local stations and their frequencies. Alternatively, click on "Bitcasters" for links to 362 US stations broadcasting on the Web. Plus there are links to 431 international stations broadcasting on the web. Another good site for linking up to live broadcasts of a range of radio stations is Timecast.

 

Finance
The Social Security Administration link

This site is the place to go for information on benefits and who qualifies for them. You can find out how much you have paid into Social Security and estimate your future benefits. You'll also find useful guidelines on frequently asked questions - such as how to replace you social security card. There's also a useful page of links to other government sites, including the IRS.

Quicken.com link

Quicken.com offers advice on making the most of your money. This updated site covers mortgages, debt, savings, banking and borrowing information. For example, it's a place to find out the 'top five highest 6-month CD rates in the nation.' You can check stock prices on-line, search for undervalued companies, and at the bottom of the page are links to six of the major on-line traders, should you be brave enough to put your money where your mouse is. There are message boards and chat rooms for financial pundits and beginners alike.

The US Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation link

This government corporation seeks to reunite people with pensions they have earned, but have not claimed. To date, they claim to have found over a thousand "lost" pensions. You can search a directory by name, state or company to find the pension you've been looking for. It is a user-friendly site and informative. Good luck!

The Motley Fool link

One of the most popular online investment sites. David Gardner and his brother Tom, started this web site in 1993; it now features a news center, a database of information about individual stocks, and for those less sure of themselves, an investors school. The site has Realaudio webcasts, so you can listen to the Gardners chatting away about the market as you surf around. There's is a lot here to learn about investing and it's done with some flair.

 

Legal
Senior Law link

SeniorLaw is another of those home-made sites that presents some serious information with a light hand. New York based lawyer David Goldfarb, 50, puts the site together to make general information about Elder Law available to seniors, their families and attorneys. You'll find information on Medicare, Medicaid, estate planning, trusts and the rights of the elderly and disabled. The site also has a list of Elder Law attorneys who have web pages in other states. This is a friendly, family site. If you want a moment away from the serious stuff, check out what Goldfarb's son is up to.

Court TV's Elder Law link

This site offers a collection of legal help information and contacts. 'Legal Help' pages give lists of national and state agencies that offer legal advice to seniors. The site also has dense documentation on Medicare and Medigap, Pension Plans, Social Security and information on wills and trusts. This is a no-nonsense site that is easy to navigate and full of useful material.

 

Health
The Health Care Financing Administration link

This agency administers Medicare and Medicaid. In addition to information on who is eligible for benefits, you'll find information on what government programs provide.

Healthfinder, The Department of Health and Human Services link

Click on 'Healthfinder' to access a directory of health information. A simple search page allows you to select a medical condition to research, or, to obtain a list of information and organizations available on the Web that may provide answers to your questions. This is an extraordinarily powerful database, but very easy to use.

The National Health Information Center link

This group tries to link people with the health organizations that can assist them. They offer a list of toll-free telephone numbers for organizations that provide health information. You can either browse through the list of organizations or search the list for a particular institute or topic. Then pick up the phone.

Family Caregiver Alliance link

This San Francisco- based organization has a very well laid out site which aims to provide caregivers with general information and news as well as more practical advice on how to find day care services and support groups. The site has an uncomplicated area dealing with health issues, an on-line support group and a section on legislative policy concerning family caregivers.

 

Travel
Elderhostel link

Elderhostel is a non-profit organization that arranges educational trips in the United States and Canada for people over 55. Trips might last a week or two weeks, and are often based at a university. Studies are associated with the local area and could include anything from anthropology and biology to photography and literature. Browse through a catalogue of upcoming programs, or join a mailing list and get your catalogue in the post. You can also read testimonials from former hostelers - a good way to see what this is all about.

Eldertreks link

For the more adventurous, the Canadian company Eldertreks offers 50+ travelers trips to Asia, South America and other destinations. Trips are given an activity rating and you can click on a country name to get a paragraph of exquisite itinerary details such as "From the Grand Palace to the River Kwai; on jungle rafts or elephants." The site includes trip journals giving an interesting idea of what you might expect on such a journey, and, of course, information on how to book. This site is worth a visit even if you've no intention of riding an elephant.

 

Art & Interests
The Louvre link

This is one of the most famous places on the Internet. If you don't have time for Paris this year, travel to the Louvre via the web! The Louvre has been collecting art for two hundred years, so there is plenty to see here, including famous pieces such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. The site is neatly planned and easy to find your way around. The only problem - you won't want to leave!

Asianart.com link

Asianart.com focuses on Asian art worldwide and is quite wonderful. The site lists collections and marketplaces of Asian art, and carries photographs and information on hundreds of artifacts. See sculptures, paintings, textiles and photographs from Nepal, Tibet, India, Mongolia, and China. You can wander round a museum, stop in at a gallery where items are for sale or read from a collection of articles. The site is easy to navigate, so you can relax, wander and feast your eyes.

The New England Aquarium link

For natural history, The New England Aquarium is a wonderful place to start your journey. The site gives you information about the aquarium, and takes you on a virtual whale watch and helicopter ride across Boston. But the strength of this site is in its list of hundreds of links to zoos, aquariums and environmental organizations across America. Environmentalists, click here.

 

Food
Epicurious link

There are numerous sites about food on the Web, Epicurious is among the best known. The site boasts 7,500 recipes, and advice on drinks to go with them. Epicurious also has a database of 1001 chef's tips, like how to keep pasta moist when you reheat it. You can also find reviews of the latest cookbooks. And if you've had enough of eating at home - there's a travel section.

Indianharvest.com link

Indianharvest.com serves up a link to a different food site every day. The site also has an archive that goes back to January 1997. If you have a few minutes to surf around, you'll find sites ranging from truly mouthwatering, through intriguing, to completely ridiculous.

 

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