There is so much information on line. How do I make sure it's accurate?Posted: December 22, 2014, 12:30PM
Internet is a wonderful tool for all types of information. But - let the searcher beware! No one should assume that information found on line is always accurate. Unfortunately, many people believe that because the information is "in print" that it must be accurate. There are no guarantees! Most likely, we have all been to a site that contains out-dated and inaccurate information, and, quite often, there is no way to correct the inaccuracies or have the information deleted!
This is true with resources and services listed on web sites, as well as other information. Businesses are sold to other owners. Business names are changed. Contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers and / or physical location may change. Businesses fail. Services that companies offer change.
An online service operated from upstate New York (for example) may not be aware of the services in your community or they may not know who to call to get that specific information.
Here are some things to think about when doing online searches:
1. Consider the source. Who is the author? Is the site a .com? .edu? .org? .net?
2. Is there evidence that the site is monitored or updated regularly?
3. Can the information be evaluated for accuracy? Is there a way to contact the site's source?
4. If you're seeking medical information, ask your doctor what site he/she recommends. (Do not let online information be a substitute for consulting your physician with medical / health concerns!)
After doing your on line search and getting your basic information, send an email or call the agency. (If the email bounces back, call them. You may find that the agency is still in business but the contact info has changed.) When seeking services or service information, it can be extremely beneficial to follow up the 'old-fashioned way'. Talk to a human!
We at Altenheim Resource & Referral Services are here to help you with your aging and caregiving questions.
A human will answer our phone unless we're tied up with another caller or out of the office. Our answering service is a simple "leave a message" service. Contact us through our web page. If you prefer a face-to-face visit, we will work with you to arrange a time that is mutually convenient. We will do our best to connect you with resources that can help. Our mission is not to make your search more challenging!