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How to Keep Residents Energized
During Afternoon Activities

Usually right after lunch, residents seem to be very relaxed and are inclined to go to their rooms, switch on their televisions, and take a nap. Try to keep your residents awake and energized with a few activity ideas:

- Add social games
Make every afternoon a fun time for your residents by including fun, social games. For instance, add in ice-breaker games that allow your residents to get to know one another. Play fun games like Penny Ante or Shake Out the Truth, in which residents learn a lot of interesting things about their neighbors.
- Add games with prizes
To attract your most competitive residents, be sure to advertise that winners will receive prizes. In fact, you may want to just play a game that incorporates prizes into the game. For example, play a game of Twister Toss. Use the Twister game (yes, the Twister game!) and lay out the Twister mat on the floor. Place small wrapped prizes (i.e., those bingo prizes that no one wants) on some of the circles on the mat. Give each resident a turn to spin the wheel to see which color they are aiming for, and have them try to toss their chip onto a prize that is on that color. If the chip lands on the prize that is on the correct color, they win the prize.
- Add fun exercise activities
Consider adding fun exercise games during the afternoon instead of during the morning. For instance, host an exciting Monday afternoon volleyball (balloon) tournament - men versus women - or a fun shuffleboard on the "Lido Deck" game every Thursday afternoon. Getting your residents up and moving helps fight off the sluggishness that comes after eating a large meal.
- Add your residents' favorite games
If your residents love bingo, consider adding an afternoon bingo to keep your residents awake and excited. In addition, turn your afternoon bingo into a double bingo - double the prizes!
- Add food and drinks
After lunch, usually the last thing a resident wants to see is more food. Consider, however, hosting dessert in your Activity Room after lunch. For instance, each Friday host a fun dessert bar, in which you serve a variety of cookies, ice cream, and fruit in your Activity Room instead of in the Dining Room.
Whatever you choose to do during the afternoon period, just remember to keep things lively and active. Be sure to stay away from long discussion and musical activities in the early afternoon as they tend to relax residents and put them to sleep. In addition, consider leading your residents directly from the Dining Room to your after-lunch activity, so residents do not have a chance to even think about taking a nap.

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