1. Roush, Karen MSN, FNP, RN, clinical editor

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Nurses providing care to older adults can find a wealth of information for both their practice and their patients on two National Institutes of Health (NIH) Web sites. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the NIH, maintains a comprehensive Web site for those who provide care to older adults. In partnership with the National Library of Medicine, the NIA also offers information directly to older adults on a Web site tailored to their specific needs.



The Web site for health care providers ( has information under the headings Health Information, Research Information, Grants and Training, and News and Events.


Health Information has sections on publications, clinical trials, public service advertisements, and lists of related organizations and Web sites.


In the Publications section, patient and caregiver education materials are available on a variety of subjects, and many of them are offered in Spanish as well as English. Some can be printed directly from a PDF and others are available by mail-up to 25 copies of each can be ordered at no cost (requests for bulk orders will be considered by the NIA; a separate form must be submitted). Numerous publications can be found here on these and other topics: caregiving, planning and decision making, Alzheimer disease, men's and women's health, and medications.


The Clinical Trials section provides a list of trials sponsored by the NIA, sometimes in collaboration with other organizations, categorized by the stage of recruitment. By clicking on the name of the trial, the user can view a summary of the trial and other pertinent information.


Choose Related Organizations to search the Resource Directory for Older People. Related Sites connects to a list of NIH and other federal programs that may be of interest to older adults and those involved in caring for them.


The Alzheimer's Disease Information link on the left side of the Health Information page will bring you to the Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center Web site, where information on the disease and its treatment, research, and current clinical trials can be found, as well as resources for family and professional caregivers. The Web site recently added two easy-to-read booklets on Alzheimer disease and memory loss for people with limited literacy skills.


Research Information includes research that receives NIA support and research taking place at NIA facilities. Nurses doing research on aging can look up current funding opportunities in areas such as Behavioral and Social Research and Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology, as well as research and training opportunities at the NIA. There is also a list of upcoming conferences, workshops, and meetings, as well as reports and papers from events dating back to 1999.


Grants and Training provides information on applying for grants and funding opportunities, and research-training support in the form of awards and fellowships.



The goal of the NIHSeniorHealth Web site ( is to make "aging-related health information easily accessible for family members and friends seeking reliable, easy to understand online health information." Text can be enlarged, and a "talking" function can be activated that speaks the text aloud. Twenty-six topics are covered, including arthritis and macular degeneration, taking medicines, exercise, and caring for someone with Alzheimer disease.


The site encourages physical exercise through a collection of first-person stories accompanied by photos of people from ages 60 to 91 participating in regular exercise programs as varied as ice hockey and dance aerobics. There are also links to pages on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and MedlinePlus Web sites that provide information on Medicare prescription drug coverage.