The goal of my PhD is to investigate how older people exchange social support in empathic online communities. This will be achieved through an in-depth investigation of online communities for older people. The results of my work will shed light on the characteristics of empathy exchanged among older people in online communities opposed to their offline communication. This is a valuable contribution to the research area of HCI, as it shows how empathic online communities can be used to support older people in their daily lives. I have published the preliminary findings of my work as a full paper at CHI 2007.