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.
“There’s no history in our family — we never expected it,” said Moock. “Her short-term memory is basically gone.”
For the first two years, he and his sons took care of Vickie 24/7. When they found out about The ARK from friends, they came in and talked to the people. “We were impressed from day one,” Moock said, adding that Vickie enjoys everything about her morning out. “We needed to stimulate her more. She likes singing, socializing. And for us, when she comes here, we know she’s safe. The people are genuine. They love each one of them the same.”
Moock described how every Tuesday—the day she spends at The ARK—he can tell she looks forward to it. “She’s up and dressed. It gives me a chance to go get a haircut or go to the grocery store by myself. This has been fantastic… remarkable.”
The ARK offers a ‘Powerful Tools for Caregivers’ class to guide caregivers in setting care priorities, to share caregiving techniques and connect them with resources to allow the person with any chronic illness to live a quality life at home as independently as possible. “My son and I took a six-week course,” explained Moock, adding, “everyone should take it. I learned what we were doing wrong and what we were doing right,”
One manifestation of Alzheimer’s is repetition. “I would try to calm her down. But instead of fussing with her, I learned to be gentle,” said Moock. He and his family now see an improvement in Vickie’s quality of life. One son in Denver calls every day but notices even on the phone the days she had spent at The ARK.
The ARK recently moved into its first standalone home on West 5th North Street in Summerville. Executive Director and founder Peg Lahmeyer is spreading the message about the major gifts initiative underway to help support the programs. “Our move will give The ARK the much-needed space to provide the quality and quantity of service that the target population so desperately needs,” she says.
Moock lauds the volunteers and employees for their help and support. He says even he, as a retired nurse, couldn’t do what the staff at The ARK do. “It takes a special person. I’d do anything for this place.”
“We have been privileged to serve so many families over the last 23 years. Our relationships with our families, volunteers, staff, community partners, generous donors and grantors have made it all possible. I am in awe of the many lives The ARK has touched and how enriched they all have made our lives,” Lahmeyer said.
Your support is essential for The ARK to keep families connected and engaged in the community. Your donation to The ARK will stay LOCAL in helping families within the Lowcountry. Please visit www.TheARKofSC.org for more information. Contributions are accepted online or can be mailed to PO Box 1540 Summerville, SC 29484.