Activity Ideas

One-On-One Activity Ideas for Senior Living Communities During COVID-19 Quarantines: Part 10

May 6, 2021

As the world begins to return to normal, we understand that many communities are still taking precautions to reduce the risks of COVID-19 with one-on-one activities. 

To help, here is another installment of our activity idea series for your community, featuring only one-on-one ideas activities. From discovering the world virtually to indoor gardening, we hope these ten activity ideas for senior communities during COVID-19 quarantines inspire you.

  1. Attend an Art Gallery from Your Armchair

We can’t all get to the gallery, so why not bring the art gallery to your residents?

With special features for people living with dementia, Armchair Gallery is an app that brings world-class art & culture to users. Armchair Gallery includes instructions for tried-and-tested creative activities to explore with people with dementia. Your residents can discover and interact with artwork from famous artists.

Sourced from the Health Innovation Network's Activities on Tablets collection.

  1. Participate in Animal Therapy

Every pet owner knows the sadness of leaving their beloved pet at home when going to work. Next time, think of bringing your pet to work! They can serve as a fantastic therapy for your residents who might be feeling lonely these days.

If your animal is up to it, try taking him or her on short visits with your residents! Residents can play and pet the animal, give them affection and receive gratification in return.

Here is an article that talks about the benefits of pet therapy for residents with dementia specifically.


  1. Build a Terrarium

Building a terrarium is a great way to introduce some greenery to your resident’s space. They also require minimal maintenance and are incredibly rewarding to watch grow.

Here is an article detailing how to make a terrarium.

Terrarium with plants inside

  1. Send a Card to a Friend or Family Member

Throughout the year, we often think about our friends. We wonder how they are, miss them, and remember fond memories of times shared. 

Residents are also having these thoughts and setting them up with a card to send to a friend may be exactly what they need to feel connected.

Either purchase a stack of greeting cards from the dollar store or make the activity more hands-on by crafting the greeting cards. Get some ideas for handmade cards here.

  1. Explore Google Earth

Google Earth is an amazing tool for exploring all corners of the earth. During your one-on-one, ask your resident where they grew up or what their favourite travel destination is. You can then pull up the location on Google Earth and bring them back to that spot. This could potentially unlock memories from their past and experience the joy of being there again.

  1. Set up an Outdoor Seating Area

As the weather begins to warm up in many areas, consider getting your resident out to enjoy the fresh air. In addition, being outside is a safer option for social distancing. Discover some of the emotional and physical benefits of getting outdoors for seniors here.

  1. Play Wii Sport with the Nintendo Wii

Purchasing a Nintendo Wii console is a great investment to allow your residents to move their bodies and have fun in their rooms. There are a variety of games that sports-minded residents can play, including bowling, tennis, golf and basketball. Check out some of the best games for seniors here.

The Wii console can be reserved by residents, or requested and delivered when available, and set up in their room provided there is a TV. Residents can play on the console for a predetermined amount of time. After each session, the console should be returned to its storage and disinfected for the next use.

Technology for Seniors
Image via The Goodman Group

  1. Discover the BBC Reminiscence Archive

The BBC Reminiscence Archive is the BBC's contribution to the growing popularity of reminiscence therapy for residents in memory care.

‍Eldercare Alliance defines Reminiscence therapy as a treatment that uses all the senses, sight, touch, taste, smell and sound, to help individuals with dementia remember events, people and places from their past lives. The benefits observed of this type of therapy is a reduction in boredom and symptoms of depression in residents, making them more confident in their abilities.

The BBC draws on the enormous amount of photos, videos, and sound clips in its archives to deliver an easy-to-use interactive reminiscence application. To begin, simply select a theme or a decade and choose the media type you'd like to see.

You can access BBC Reminiscence Archive here.

  1. Create a Book Club

Studies have found many benefits of reading for older adults, from reducing stress and enhancing sleep to improving memory circuits, sharpening decision-making and possibly even delaying the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

If you enjoy reading, consider setting up a book club with a few residents. During your one-on-ones, you can chat about the book and share ideas and reviews. Check out this list of books for older adults here.

An elderly man sits in an armchair reading a book

  1. Visit the Aquarium

My Reef 3D is a great app for people with advanced dementia. The app lets users interact with around 14 different types of virtual fish. Their colours and movements are soothing and simulating. Activities within the app include stocking the aquarium with fish and interacting with the tank. Users can also just sit back and enjoy the show, looking at all the fish swim together, or even follow a particular fish throughout the aquarium as he swims.

Sourced from the Health Innovation Network's Activities on Tablets collection.

We hope you found some inspiring one-on-one ideas to try out with residents in your senior living communities. It is everyone’s mission to ensure the safety of all our loved ones while making sure everyone maintains a good mood, staff and residents alike! Every resident’s well-being is at the heart of what we do. Take these activities to your residents and see how you can improve their day!

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Book a demo of the Welbi platform or chat with us, and we can show you how we can help keep your community safe, organized, and running smoothly. Always.

Katie Stewart

Katie is a member of Welbi’s Customer Experience team! She has a background in communications and recreation and is passionate about older adults, exercise, coffee and people.

Holly Mathias

Holly is a member of Welbi’s Marketing team! She has a background in communications and marketing, and is a compassionate individual who loves team work, story telling, and wellness.

Wendy Riopelle

Wendy is a student in the Honours BA in English program at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.

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