Recently, the City of Tallahassee garnered nationwide recognition for the Tallahassee Senior Center’s UPSLIDE (Utilizing and Promoting Social Engagement for Loneliness, Isolation and Depression in the Elderly) program. UPSLIDE won Best Health and Wellness Program in the nation from the National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC). NISC’s Program of Excellence Awards are designed to honor and promote outstanding efforts made by senior centers throughout the nation that offer innovative, creative and replicable programs for older adults.
Since its inception in 2018, the UPSLIDE program has helped over 300 Tallahassee seniors become socially connected through planned activities and individual counseling. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health professionals identified loneliness and isolation to be at epidemic proportions among the nation’s senior population. Protective measures for COVID-19, including social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines for vulnerable populations such as seniors, have intensified these negative feelings for some people. This has underscored the great importance of and need for programs like UPSLIDE that provide social connectedness and promote mental, physical and emotional well-being.
Throughout the community’s response to COVID-19, the Senior Center has continued to engage area seniors through phone calls and online services. Multiple engagement opportunities for continued learning and guided fitness classes have been provided via social media; these guided fitness classes are also provided on WCOT, the City’s television channel, (Comcast and CenturyLink channel 13) on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 9 a.m.
The UPSLIDE program is funded through a grant provided by the Florida Blue Foundation. To learn more about the program and how you or someone you know could participate, contact Melanie Lachman at 850-891-4066 or Melanie.Lachman@Talgov.com.
Tallahassee is an AARP Age-Friendly Community, and the Tallahassee Senior Center is accredited by the NISC, which is part of the National Council on Aging. The Tallahassee Senior Center offers programs, activities and opportunities designed to encourage active living, optimal aging and social fitness for independent adults. The Tallahassee Senior Center is located at 1400 N. Monroe Street and is operated and maintained by the City of Tallahassee’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department. For more information on its wide variety of programs, classes and events, please call 850-891-4000 or visit the City’s website at Talgov.com. You can also stay up-to-date by liking the Senior Center on Facebook.