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New Project to Find and Help Isolated Seniors


An unknown number of Tallahassee seniors may be living in lonely isolation and just one misfortune away from tragedy. The city’s Senior Center now has the resources to identify and help those shut-ins.

The Florida Blue Foundation, the charitable arm of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida, has given the Center a $221,000 grant. The Center’s Health and Wellness Coordinator Ruth Nickens said it will support a project called “UPSLIDE”, which stands for Utilizing and Promoting Social engagement for Loneliness, Isolation and Depression in the Elderly.

“First we’re going to hire the right person to facilitate this program. Then they will go out into the community and they will try to get the word out and seek referrals and identify some of the individuals who are at risk and at need.”

Next, said Nickens, is marshaling the resources to help those people.

. “The objective is to integrate them with support for whatever their obstacles were, into already existing activities and then to follow them and help them address any issues that might arise that are creating challenges for them,” Nickens explained, adding the UPSLIDE program is set to launch in April.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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