Few 65+ surf for health info

Monday, February 28, 2005

WASHINGTON - As the Internet becomes an increasingly important resource for informing decisions about health and health care options, less than a third (31%) of seniors (age 65 and older) have ever gone online. More than two-thirds (70%) of the next generation of seniors (50-64 year olds), however, have done so, according to a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The differences among seniors and 50-64 year olds are striking and indicate that online resources for health information may soon play a much larger role among older Americans.

Twenty-one percent of seniors have gone online to look for health information compared to 53% of 50-64 year-olds; 8% of seniors get “a lot” of health information online compared to 24% of 50-64 year olds. The Internet is fifth on a list of media sources of health information for seniors compared to first among 50-64 year olds; and 26% of seniors trust the Internet “a lot” or “some” to provide accurate health information, compared to 58% of 50-64 year olds, according to the Kaiser survey

The survey was a nationally representative, random digit dial telephone survey of 1,450 adults age 50 and older, including 583 respondents age 65 and older.