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UNF nursing students partner with BEAM to offer wellness checks for seniors

Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM) has teamed up with the University of North Florida School of Nursing to expand its services to offer home wellness checks through BEAM’s Senior Service Program.  

The program serves more than 50 senior citizens in the Beaches area with home grocery delivery from BEAM’s food pantry, telephone reassurance, in-person visits, fall prevention and minor home repairs. With the addition of wellness checks, eight nursing student volunteers from UNF are being offered hands-on experiences as they coordinate regular home visits to assess seniors’ mental and physical well-being and safety and help connect them to resources. 

Living in the Beaches area, UNF nursing student Wale Adegoke was excited to volunteer for a community-based organization that would allow him to give back to the people in his community.  

“The seniors we meet are often lonely and feel isolated,” said Adegoke. “I want to help change that.”  

The nursing students are challenged to tackle one issue their seniors are experiencing and produce a solution. Adegoke’s team is planning ways to combat depression and loneliness, including the creation of a pamphlet to share easy access to community events, resources and transportation to increase senior clients’ awareness of social events.  

“Having the students connect with the seniors is such an important service,” said Melissa Kicklighter, BEAM’s coordinator of senior program services. “It means so much to the seniors in our community and gives them a sense of purpose to have someone interact with and care about their needs.”  

Other community partners UNF nursing students are volunteering with this semester include UNF’s Meals on Wings, the Arc Village, Brooks Home Health, WeCareJax, Community Health Outreach and Safe Kids.