3 February, 2020
Having pets at home is a real blessing and a stress buster, they say; and for seniors who live alone, these pets can well be their family and provide companionship too. However, there are many issues when it comes to having the most popular pet – the dog. Mobility issues are a big hindrance for seniors that prevent them from having dogs at home. Dogs need to walk and bathed, and taken to the vet periodically, etc. This may not be conducive to many seniors.
The other issue could be maintaining dogs in flats, and societies that have strict rules about pets. Sometimes, seniors who themselves depend on caretakers may find that the caretakers refuse to work in homes where there are dogs. In such cases, should the seniors forego their love of pets, or can they take in other pets that can be easily maintained and even prove to be actually helpful in their wellbeing?
While it may sound a bit too good to be true, it is true having an aquarium at home may be a good solution that can help seniors in many ways. For one, they could be happy about having a pet at home and it needs less or easier maintenance than dogs. Another reason is that these are kept indoors and hence no one can complain or object to these. Last but not least, seniors should consider having aquariums at home, as it is highly beneficial to their health; proven scientifically, as well as according to Feng Shui.
Aquariums come in all sizes and shapes from simple round glass bowls to the huge rectangular tanks, depending on your choice. There are also umpteen choices in the kind of fishes that you can keep in these. Fishes like Bettas, Platies, Black Molly, Swordtail, and Goldfish are said to be beginner’s fish or easy to maintain fishes. These are colourful fishes and you could set up your small aquariums with a few of these, with some simple accessories. There is no doubt that these little tanks add to the aesthetics of your space. Just the looks can spruce up the ambiance and bring in relaxation.
It is said that the colours, motion and the gentle sounds of the fish aquarium is good therapy for seniors. This helps reduce the stress and the blood pressure among them. In fact, one study observed that seniors having Alzheimer’s ate more, and required less of nutrition supplements when an aquarium was placed in their room. It was also noticed that the aquariums managed to hold the rapt attention of these people for up to thirty minutes in one go. The Alzheimer’s patients were also observed to be more happy and talkative when they had aquariums in their living spaces. It also brought down disruptive behaviors and their cardiovascular health also showed improvement. Overall, it has been observed that aquariums improve the quality of life and wellbeing of seniors, even for those suffering from dementia.
What to do?
You could choose to have a rather elaborate aquarium that has a lot of accessories, etc. and quite a few fishes. Or you could choose to have a simple glass bowl with one or two fishes. The pet shops can help you identify the right fishes as well as the nature of fishes. For example, few fishes need a company, whereas a few may survive alone. They could help you set it up and all you need to do is maintain the same.
Simple maintenance would mean periodic water changes which are easy if you opt for simple glass bowls. You could feed the fishes and change the water easily. Even caretakers may not find this too much of a challenge. There are self-cleaning or no clean aquariums also, that can be purchased from the local shops or even online from Amazon and Flipkart. Some of these even come with some basic accessories that are best for those who love zero maintenance. If you love pets and would love to have an easy maintenance one, perhaps it’s time to get an aquarium home.
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