The ARK began in 1996 as a community outreach initiative of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Summerville. Initially, The ARK served 13 families with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
The following year, The ARK launched a satellite respite day program in rural St. George serving families in Dorchester, Colleton, and Orangeburg counties. In 2004, The ARK received grant funding for a bus that enabled more participants to attend our respite programs. Presently, The ARK operates a four-day-a-week Summerville program with 10 participants per day.
To date, The ARK has served hundreds of families, with countless others receiving information and referrals.
The ARK has earned a reputation as a refuge for families coping with the care of loved ones with dementia. We are also a community information and referral source, having cultivated a wide network of invaluable Lowcountry geriatric resources for local family caregivers.
The ARK’s efforts and expertise have been recognized by the SAGE Institute (in collaboration with the South Carolina Hospital Association and the Duke Endowment) with a 2004 Geriatric Best Practices Award. The ARK is recognized by the Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging as a model respite program recommended for replication across South Carolina.