For its continued efforts to promote well-being among older adults through various engagement activities and programs, the National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) has recognized the Tallahassee Senior Center’s UPSLIDE (Utilizing and Promoting Social Engagement for Loneliness, Isolation and Depression in the Elderly) program.
The UPSLIDE program was awarded the Best Health and Wellness Program in the U.S. under NISC’s Program of Excellence Awards.
Every year, NISC recognizes senior centers across the U.S. for their nationwide efforts to offer innovative and creative programs for seniors.
The UPSLIDE program was launched in 2018 and is funded through a grant provided by the Florida Blue Foundation. The program is aimed at helping seniors in various ways, including individual counseling.
The program was built on the foundation of keeping older people socially connected. And to achieve its goal, the center has curated several programs and planned activities. It is because of all these efforts that the UPSLIDE has been successful in engaging over 300 Tallahassee seniors till date.
Apart from keeping seniors socially connected, the UPSLIDE program promotes mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Loneliness and isolation are believed to be major factors impacting the well-being of the senior population. Global crises like COVID-19 have negatively affected seniors as well as restricted the center to continue with the efforts already in practice.
The COVID-19 guidelines recommend people adhering to the norms of social distancing and staying-at-home, which has taken a toll on older adults. But as difficult times require a different response, the center has changed its strategy a bit considering the threat of the pandemic. It has now found other ways to engage with seniors through mediums like telephone calls and online services.
Moreover, the center has come up with some innovative ideas to connect with seniors such as providing them with on-going learning and assisted fitness classes via social media.
Despite times being tough, the Tallahassee Senior Center is still dedicated toward helping seniors with various new programs and activities with the purpose of encouraging active living, healthy aging, and fitness.