Seniors in Service Program Coordinator, Aria Garling, had the privilege of presenting our innovative Health Buddies program at the 2023 Florida Blue Foundation Community Health Symposium. Presenters at the symposium included national, regional, and Florida-based experts on a variety of issues affecting health, communities, and health care policy. This year’s symposium focused on the topic of mental well-being.
Health Buddies improves mental well-being for isolated seniors living with chronic conditions by pairing them with a Health Buddy.
Health Buddies are caring, trained volunteers who provide companionship, health knowledge and encouragement. Participant data indicates that by the end of the 12-week Health Buddies intervention, clients reported decreased feelings of nervousness, depression, hopelessness, worthlessness, and restlessness plus improved ability to self-manage their health. 98% of Health Buddy clients did not visit the emergency room!
We were honored to have the opportunity to share with other health-minded symposium attendees how Health Buddies is improving mental wellbeing for Tampa Bay’s most vulnerable seniors by providing “companionship as medicine”.