By Ron VandenBoom
All too often, the Internet is thought to be a young persons toy and a businessmans tool a place where only professionals and kids hang out and where only they can derive value.
The truth of the matter is that the Internet is the greatest information warehouse ever known to man. And unless I miss my guess, everyone needs information sometime.
The unfortunate truth of the matter is that, while senior citizens need just as much information as any other segment of our population, there are far too few who feel the Internet has anything to offer them.
The Access America for Seniors Website is a U.S. Government sponsored site that offers seniors a wealth of information specifically designed to explain benefits, offer suggestions, and answer frequently asked questions, all in one easy to find and convenient location.
The address is www.seniors.gov.
It is laid out in a magazine format with easy to find information on topics that most affect seniors.
With an emphasis on service, the site also will allow seniors to access departments of the government they need to contact without going to a downtown office to pick up forms or supply information.
Click on Benefits and run down the list of agencies from Social Security to Veterans Administration. It is not that Access America posts a page with information, what it does is provide a link to the agency you are seeking and the department and page you need.
This little perk has special meaning to anyone who has ever found himself lost in the bowels of a site looking for a simple piece of information and unable to locate the correct link to where you want to go.
Other areas of interest to seniors are Health and Nutrition, Consumer Protection, Services, Employment and Volunteer Activities, Taxes, Travel and Leisure, Education and Training.
Click on any of the links in a category that fits your needs and choose from the list that pops up its that simple.
Did you know that you can request a form to learn how much Social Security you are eligible to receive without going to the Social Security Office nearest you? Did you know you could request certain forms online and have them sent to you? Did you know that instead of bringing a booklet home from the Social Security Office you can now order the booklet without leaving your home.
The site is amazingly well organized for a government site and locating what you want is no problem.
We can only hope that as the site grows it will not lose the simple quality that today gives it such an advantage over some of the other government sites out there.
Next week I will examine some other sites specifically for seniors, but in the meantime, be sure to check out www.havredailynews.com for the latest in local news.