Visiting Angels opens doors to cafe and community training center


About 60 people gathered February 22 for Visiting Angels’ grand opening and after-hours event for the Lancaster-by-The-Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Although the Home Care Agency moved in Mid-December, this ribbon cutting ceremony was delayed until the company had completed the interior renovations at 68 South Main Street, Kilmarnock.

Mayor Mae P. Umphlett, Chamber president Iris Treakle and other local dignitaries participated.

Visiting Angels’ new home is more than its company offices. When owner Frank McCarthy was searching for larger office space to accommodate his growing business, “68 South Main,” as he likes to call it, created a new vision.

“We didn’t need over 4,500 square feet, but as I walked through this empty space, a new vision began to unfold,” said McCarthy.

He envisioned a space where the company could conduct its continuing employee education on the premises. Because the building was much larger than McCarthy needed, he also developed a small area in the front compatible with the ‘retail’ nature of Main Street and a space to benefit the community, particularly the senior community of the Northern Neck.

In addition to staff offices for nine office employees, the building now houses the Sage Café. This area is designed as a senior resource center and reading room, he said. Seniors, loved ones and family members are invited to stop in and peruse the extensive library that covers numerous topics of interest to our aging population.

In the morning, freshly brewed coffee is available in carafes, said McCarthy. Shelves are stocked with numerous books, pamphlets and magazines related to senior issues including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, caregiving principles, faith-based support, pain, palliative care, activity planning, aging in place and retirement. An assortment of magazines and other literature from local senior-related service organizations is also maintained there.

As part of the community effort, beginning April 4, the Sage Café will host the Alzheimer’s Association ‘Memory Café’ on first Tuesdays, he said. These social gatherings are specifically for those dealing with memory loss and those who care for them. The café gathering will offer opportunities for socialization in a relaxing and accepting environment. The contact for this gathering is Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Richmond regional director Ellie Galloway, 446-5857, or egalloway@alz.org.

Behind the café is a training center where Visiting Angels conducts regular training for its caregiving staff. This space also will be used for community awareness topics, said McCarthy. There are already plans for multiple Alzheimer’s training sessions for the public beginning the second quarter of this year.

“We want to utilize our training center to cover important and cutting-edge topics related to our extensive senior population and these topics will not be restricted to health care,” he said. “We cherish the opportunity for this community to have a space that is dedicated to providing resources for our aging population—a central and convenient location that will serve as a hub for the numerous senior related resources throughout our region.”