What is an Activity Therapist?
Zoë uses the term Activity Therapist to convey her interest in the human capacity for creativity in the last phase of life. She believes that we never lose our potential for expression and connection. Using art, music, poetry and literature, as well as nature, she helps her clients connect to what is most meaningful to them.
The activities developed for each group or individual client are tailored to the elders involved, and evolve over time. Each session contains elements of spontaneity and improvisation. This approach enables the elder, (or group) in essence, to lead the activity and go at his or her own pace.
What Does a Session or Group with Zoë Look Like?
Individual sessions might look like:
- An outing to botanical gardens where we find a beautiful spot to sit and sketch the surroundings.
- Creating a playlist of favorite songs, singing along and sharing memories.
- An outing to one of the Bay Area’s fine museums, and a snack in the museum café while we people-watch and discuss the art.
Group sessions to choose from include:
- Exploring Poetry
- Exploring Archetypal Symbols
- Group Storytelling
- Exploring Specific Composers/Artists
How Long is A Session?
Individual sessions can last from 1-4 hours, depending on what we do together and what the client wants, and one to two sessions per week is typical. Group sessions are 60-90 minutes long.
Where Do Sessions and Groups Take Place?
Private homes, independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, hospital, hospice.
“Thank you for coming to see my mom. You were so present and helpful to my mom. I learned by watching your interaction with her. It meant so much to me for you to assess the place and the situation.”
Adult daughter of a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who is living in a skilled nursing home
“I love to talk with you [Zoë]. The time with you is the loveliest I’ve spent with anybody.”92 year-old man living in a Memory Care facility
“You [Zoë] light up my life. Not many people have such an impact on people’s lives.”87 year-old woman living in an Assisted Living facility
“I always feel happy when I see you [Zoë]. You sure know how to make a person feel like they are somebody.”95 year-old woman living in a Board & Care home
Zoë has ten years of experience providing intellectual and social interaction for elders living with, or without, memory loss. Zoë has a BA in Cultural Anthropology and an MFA in Creative Writing. She was a contributing author to the compendium, The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images. She is trained as a Spiritual Care Partner and End Of Life Doula. Zoë can also provide a spiritual and cultural context for Jewish clients. Zoë is a Preferred Provider for Ashby Village and a member of Creative Aging SF. For more information, visit Zoë’s personal website at activitytherapies.org