Becoming a caregiver for a loved one is a role few are truly prepared for. It’s typically thrust upon people, who can quickly become overwhelmed. That was Peg Lahmeyer’s situation in 1990 when her father passed away, and she and her family became caregivers to her mother who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She had to quit her job, even with a toddler and a two teenagers at home.
The ARK of SC
Do you ever wonder what a day at The ARK looks like or what social respite means? Respite programs give family caregivers a much-needed break from the stress of round-the-clock caregiving. Our program is a social model program (it is not medical) that keeps loved ones with memory issues connected to their community through fellowship, meaningful activities and lots of fun that enhances their independence and self-esteem.
“Runners take your mark”. It has evolved every year for nearly two decades, but to Peg Lahmeyer, the scene never gets old. Listening to the horn and watching the mass of runners surge from the starting line remains emotional for the executive director of The ARK of South Carolina. Because each of the competitors is there to support the organization’s mission of helping local families dealing with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
The handsome brick house off West 5th North Street belonged to former Summerville Mayor Berlin Myers, and with its airy sunroom and bright backyard retains much of the warmth of the home it once was. These days, no one lives there permanently. But it’s still a home to those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia who find hope and support within.
“The ARK has been more than a Godsend,” says Ed Moock as he sat at a table in the dining room there. He had just brought his wife, Vickie, to spend the day at The ARK which means it’s his morning to regroup. At first, he thought she was having mini-strokes, but then the diagnosis came. She had Alzheimer’s.
When Ernie Blaylock and his wife Silvia moved back to Dorchester to care for his mom, it was the fulfillment of a vow.
“We promised Dad we would take care of them and the property when the time came.”
That time arrived two years ago when Silvia and Ernie relocated from Oklahoma to Dorchester to care for his mother, Augustine Blaylock, and oversee the property that is his family’s legacy.