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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New Agape Center on Lincolnia Road offers social outlet for seniors



A bingo game in the main room of the new Agape center in Lincolnia.

About 150 seniors are enjoying organized activities and a chance to socialize every day at the new Agape adult daycare center on Lincolnia Road.
A friendly game in one of the activity rooms.
The new facility, which opened in November, offers “a better environment for seniors” than the former facility it replaced on General Washington Drive in Alexandria, says Dong Chul Choi, executive director of Agape Adult Day and Home Care. Unlike the old building, the Lincolnia center has a fenced-in outdoor seating area where clients can enjoy nature when the weather is nice.

The exercise room.
Most of the clients are Korean, although everyone is welcome. The center is open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

The new building’s main room, a two story open area with crystal chandeliers and natural light, is used for meals and activities like bingo and sing-a-longs.

Bingo in the main room.
It’s surrounded by 10 small rooms for other activities, like mahjong, cards, or other games, art lessons, or quiet relaxation. One room is full of exercise equipment; another is a computer lab; and there’s a room where clients can enjoy a quiet cup of coffee or tea and catch up on the news from Korea.

The backyard gets more visitors on warmer days.
The center offers classes in English, calligraphy, computer basics, crafts, and Bible studies. Agape provides bus transportation from clients’ private homes or senior residences, such as the Evergreen House in Annandale.  

The main entrance.
Clients come from Annandale, Alexandria, Springfield, Burke and there are even some from as far as Centreville, Choi says.

A client takes a break in a massage chair.
The average of age of clients is the mid-80s. Some have memory disorders, disabilities, or chronic diseases. The center doesn’t provide medical services, but there is a nurse on site. For those without Medicaid, the cost is $60 a day. That includes transportation, breakfast, lunch, a snack, and all activities.

The coffee lounge.
Without a place like Agape, Choi says, many of these people would be stuck at home with a caregiver. Most of them immigrated when they were older to join adult children in Virginia and don’t have good English skills, which makes them even more isolated.

“Here, they have a chance to socialize,” Choi says. “They’re not just sitting around at home watching TV.” 

Ginger, the office dog.

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