Joyful mature couple with a goldfish in a bowl isolated on white background

A small aquarium makes a beautiful focal point in any room, and watching shoals of brightly colored fishes cruising serenely through a forest of vibrant green aquatic plants is a truly magical experience.

But did you know that keeping an aquarium has many important benefits for seniors?

Lowers Blood Pressure

Have you ever noticed how many medical centers have a fish tank in their waiting rooms? Well, that’s because it’s been scientifically proven that observing fish swimming in an aquarium can significantly lower blood pressure, especially in seniors.

Lower blood pressure means less chance of serious health conditions, including heart attacks and strokes. So, keeping fish could be the perfect way to stay healthy and even prolong your life!

Helps Seniors with Alzheimer’s

There are over five million seniors in the U.S. who have Alzheimer’s or dementia, and those numbers are rising annually.

So, it’s great news that, according to studies, observing fish swimming in a tank can significantly help those with Alzheimer’s.

Residents in a care home with an aquarium in the dining room showed improved appetites and required fewer supplements. Not only that, but those people were also able to communicate more effectively with care staff, and previously disruptive behaviors also improved.

Small is Beautiful

You don’t need a large fish tank to reap the stress-relieving benefits that keeping fish can bring. There are many species of gorgeous, brightly colored fish that can live happily in a small aquarium, and you can read about them here.

There’s a wide range of small fish tanks to choose from that can fit on a countertop, desk, or coffee table. So, even if you don’t have much space, you can still enjoy all the benefits of keeping a small aquarium.

Childhood Memories Revisited

Many people can remember winning a goldfish at a fairground or keeping fishes as pets when they were kids.

Watching fish swimming in an aquarium can trigger many happy memories in those with dementia, helping to improve their mood and positivity as they roll back the years and reminisce.

Stress Relief

It has been shown in recent scientific studies that watching fish swimming can lower stress levels and considerably improve mood.

Many seniors live alone and have few visitors, which can be very stressful. The simple act of relaxing in a comfy armchair and watching a school of fish gliding serenely around their tank can have a blissfully, peaceful, calming effect.

Perfect Pets for Seniors

Many seniors owned a pet in their youth. In your older years, keeping a dog or cat may be too much expense and hassle, especially if mobility is a problem; but comparatively low-maintenance fish make the perfect pets for older folks! 

Fish don’t need walking every day, there’s no messy litter box to worry about, you can leave your fish home alone, and you won’t need to fork out on insurance or expensive vet bills. And you still get to enjoy the fun and interest of caring for pets; it’s a win-win!

Fish can be just as entertaining and fun as four-legged pets, too. For example, a betta fish with his stunning, glamorous finnage can learn to recognize and interact with his owner, even learning to perform simple tricks! Who knew?

In Conclusion

Keeping a small aquarium has many wonderful benefits for seniors!

Caring for fish reduces stress, helps people with Alzheimer’s, brings back childhood memories, and can overcome loneliness, too. And a fish tank teeming with shimmering, colorful fishes and lush plants looks beautiful in any room.

So, next time you’re stumped for an unusual gift idea for a senior loved one, why not consider a small aquarium?