Buddy Program with FSU College of Nursing


Elder Care Community Council of Franklin County recommends the Buddy Program which is looking for adults over age 50 to participate.  In March 2020 many things changed. No one was spared the impact of Covid-19, but seniors living alone and nursing students needing clinical experiences were two groups hit exceptionally hard.

From this collision of circumstances and need, the FSU College of Nursing and the Tallahassee Senior Center UPSLIDE program teamed up to create the Buddy program – which creates connection between nursing students and adults age 50+. The goal is to afford new student opportunities to learn about the unique needs and issues of older adults, while also allowing for intergenerational relationships to develop.

One senior buddy, Dene Scott, shares that she is having an “excellent and very positive experience.” She explains, “I have two buddies, and both are professional, appropriate and friendly. It is a pleasure to talk to them — I learn from them and they learn from me. I consider it a gift to influence future health care providers, to help them to gain insight into the lives and health concerns of seniors.”

The Nursing students, who are all vetted, and background checked, are paired with their senior buddy in their first semester, and remain with their buddy for two years, the duration of their nursing training, until graduation. While they will have some clinical assignments to complete, such as health history and a medication review, there is also time to have free flowing conversations that may lead to meaningful long-term relationships. The expectation is to connect via telephone, since some seniors that do not use computers, however buddies have the option to meet via video chat. One senior was excited to report that her student buddy taught her to use Facetime on her iPhone.

We are actively seeking adults over 50 to participate. You do not have to be lonely – but you must want to connect and try something new. You may also have a friend, neighbor, or loved one that would benefit. 

For more information or to enroll, email Judy.shipman@talgov.com or call 850-891-4000.
February is Black History Month, National American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day.  In the past years, Elder Care Community Council of Franklin County celebrated these events at the Holy Family Senior Center in Apalachicola.

 We look forward to being able to gather again at the Center for lunch, celebrations and activities.  Stay tuned here and like us on Facebook at ECCC – E Triple C for any updates.  You can email us at ecccfranklin@gmail.org and request to be on our mailing list or call us at 850-370-0116.