Tallahassee Senior Center to launch program to combat loneliness

Posted at 3:44 AM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-22 03:41:34-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The Tallahassee Senior Center will start a new program in April to help prevent isolation and depression among older people. 

The new program, UPSLIDE, is made possible by a $221,000 grant from the Florida Blue Foundation.

"This generous grant will enable us to move forward with yet another program designed to address some of the challenges faced by our community's aging population," City Commissioner Gil Ziffer said.

UPSLIDE stands for Utilizing and Promoting Social Engagement for Loneliness, Isolation and Depression in the Elderly. The three-year program will help identify individuals age 50 and older who may be socially isolated.

Preventive health and wellness tips will be presented through outreach visits, counseling and support-style chat groups.

The Tallahassee Senior Center will partner with other mental health and social services agencies and organizations in the community to help strengthen the safety net serving these at-risk adults.

"Research indicates that social isolation and loneliness are linked with increased depression, dementia, falls and emergency visits," Tallahassee Senior Center's Health and Wellness Coordinator Ruth Nickens said.

Nickens said the project will serve as a non-threatening gateway for people to become socially engaged and connected to other people.

Participants will be encouraged to attend a Senior Center program or other positive social outlets.

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