Duval County

Home care agency in Jacksonville wants seniors and veterans to know there’s help out there

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — Caring for aging loved ones can be especially hard during the holidays. Senior Helpers Jacksonville, an area home care agency, wants families to know there is help out there.

Navy veteran Bob Danker lives alone in Fernandina Beach, but a peaceful, independent life became challenging with a cancer diagnosis.

“When you have cancer or a serious disease, and you’re alone, that despair and loneliness is extremely hard,” Danker said.

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But a beacon of hope in the form of Senior Helpers Jacksonville changed Danker’s life.

“It keeps an aging veteran out of nursing homes and out of veterans facilities and such, because they want to stay home, and they’ve earned it through their service,” owner David Emery explained.

Emery, a Navy veteran himself, saw the need in the community more than ten years ago.

He says the Veterans Administration pays for Senior Helpers Jacksonville to send care workers to veterans’ homes, helping them bathe, cook meals and stay happy and healthy.

“I was getting better care than I was at the hospital, from Senior Helpers,” Danker said. “I wouldn’t have that if it wasn’t for the VA, so the VA’s extremely important.”

Danker added that Senior Helpers has gotten him through some pretty dark days.

“I had a lot of days that I didn’t even want to get up, but I knew somebody was coming,” he said. “They gave me that inspiration, and they gave me the help that I needed.”

Calling himself “one of the fortunate ones”, Danker gives back to groups that help veterans, even donating money he made off a book he wrote.

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“Everything you have in your life, no matter how much or how little, you have because somebody was in a uniform,” he said.

Danker wants all veterans to get the help and care they deserve.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can get in touch with Senior Helpers Jacksonville here.