(L-R) Lafayette County Veterans Service Officer Carlton Black and Ed daSilva from the Florida Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

Florida Department of Veterans Affairs Human Services Counselor Ed daSilva recently made a stop in Mayo to spread the word about the Lake City Domiciliary, a 148-bed housing facility for honorably discharged veterans, located at 751 SE Sycamore Terrace in Lake City.

“We’re the only assisted living facility that’s run by the state’s department in Florida,” said daSilva.

The Robert H. Jenkins Jr. Veterans’ Domiciliary Home in Lake City (Columbia County) opened to residents in 1990. It provides a special combination of housing, personalized supportive services and incidental medical care to eligible veterans, who must be able to feed and dress themselves, and be in need of assisted living care. The domiciliary is located on a 20 acre parcel of wooded lake. Residents must have at least one year of residency in the state of Florida and be in need of assisted living facility care, not hospital or nursing home care.

Private rooms run about $2,100 a month and semi-private rooms about $1,650. Rates are based on a sliding fee scale according to the veteran’s income. Rates include room and board, food, transportation, television and electricity; basically all the essentials, daSilva said. There is also a clothing room filled with donated clothes, as well as a canteen with other donated hygiene items. A dining room is on site and residents are served three meals a day, as well as an evening snack.

“The food’s pretty good there,” he said. “It’s cafeteria style.”

The activity department at the facility keeps everyone busy, daSilva said. They take residents on picnics, to flea markets, baseball games, and local hunting holes for a day of fishing, just to name a few of the activities they offer.

They also provide transportation to doctor appointments and transportation back and forth to the VA hospital. Quite a few of the residents, daSilva said, have a primary care doctor at the VA hospital and he said they work closely with them.

Transportation services are “kind of a little mini bus system for our residents,” he said.

Currently there are 129 residents living at the facility. Six of them are female veterans. Residents range in age from 39 to 95 and they served in WWII, the Korean War and Viet Nam.

“We had a Gulf War veteran there at one time, but people come and go and he moved out and went on his own, which is good,” he said. “We encourage that.”

The facility, daSilva said, has never been at capacity, so there is always room for more.

For information about the veterans domiciliary, please call 386-758-0600. 

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