For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been known to keep pets for various reasons. It could be for security or companionship, but one thing that’s for sure is that pets bring so much joy into our lives. In fact, some companies are now allowing their employees to bring their favorite pets to work, and as a result, this has boosted the employee’s morale, thus increase their productivity.
In recent years, more people are now embracing the idea of owning a fish as a pet. Although they are not as popular as dogs or cats, studies have shown that keeping a fish has just as many benefits, especially for seniors. Here are the reasons why seniors might consider adding a pet fish to their life.
1. Fish Are Good for Your Heart Health
One of the major health issues for senior citizens is heart-related complications. With aging, conditions such as high blood pressure and heart complications are inevitable, and the best one can do is regulate them.
Studies have shown that observing fish in an aquarium lowers blood pressure and also lowers the heart rate for 5-6 beats per minute. Lowering blood pressure significantly minimizes the chances of suffering from stroke, kidney failure, heart diseases, vision issues, and other serious health complications.
It’s incredible just how much difference a tiny fish can make in one’s overall health. You don’t have to wait for their next birthday to surprise them with a pet fish.
2. Fish Require Little Attention
Unlike other pets, fish are low maintenance and require very little attention. You don’t need to take them for shots or evening strolls; for a senior, going out every evening to walk a pet could be tiring, exhausting, and almost impossible.
While on the other hand, as long as the tank or aquarium is clean and well-fed, you are good to go. Even beautiful betta fish care is very straightforward.
Fish also make great pets if you have limited space. For instance, in nursing homes, keeping a fish will work out best since you only need a countertop or a table to place your fish tank. These properties make it possible for the elderly to take care of them under minimal supervision.
3. Fish Offer Amazing Companionship
Even though they are quiet and barely make a sound, fish offer great companionship if you are looking for someone to listen to you or when you are looking for a calm environment. Watching fish swimming has a calming effect, and this could be helpful for anyone with anxiety issues.
Here is a fun fact, fish pets actually recognize their owners and develop a bond with them just like other pets! Fish are actually smarter than most people think. Fish also have the ability to differentiate faces and recognize their environment as well. They get excited every time they see their owners. They swim rapidly or jump and flip to show their excitement. This unique way of bonding brings so much joy to the owner or anyone that is watching them.
We all need some extra love, especially seniors who could once in a while feel lonely. And it definitely feels good to be loved.
There is also a great reward that comes with watching the fish swim in the tank and see it making faces whenever it swims to the side you put your finger as it wiggles its tail. That one goofy face is all one could need to make their day cheerful.
4. Fish Help Alzheimer’s Patients
Alzheimer’s disease, which is more common with the elderly, causes memory loss and other cognitive impairments. This could lead to the individual being unstable emotionally and more often or so angry and irrational.
However, studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients who spend time around a fish tank are more relaxed, eat their meals regularly, and be less aggressive than those who didn’t. Just by watching the fish swim, they can improve their moods and be more calm and relaxed. So, if you have any senior relatives or friends who have Alzheimer’s get them a pet fish on your next visit. They may not be able to understand you, or thank you for the fish, but it will do them a whole lot of good in the long run.
5. Fish Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Stress is literally bad for your health. Severe health conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, and ulcers have all been linked to stress. These diseases could have irreversible to seniors who are more frail and fragile, and that’s why it is crucial to make sure they experience as little stress as possible.
The good news is, studies have shown that keeping a pet fish plays a huge role in reducing stress. Ever noticed why in most waiting areas at the hospital, there is an aquarium? They are not there for decoration, they are there to reduce stress and anxiety in patients, and they will be more relaxed during surgery.
Pet fish are one of the most underrated pets in the world. And this shouldn’t be the case. From the points above, it is undisputed just how much a pet fish can improve the quality of one’s life just like any other pet, if not more. If you thought that keeping a fish is boring, you couldn’t have been far from the truth. We live in different worlds, but the fact that we could still bond with them and grow an attachment is what makes pet fish extras special.