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Elderly Care Fun: Setting Up an Aquarium for Your Parents

Elderly Care in Shrewsbury, MA

Providing mental stimulation is an important element of your elderly care plan because it helps to keep your parents’ minds active, preserves their memory and cognitive processing skills, and boosts their emotional health and well-being. While there are many ways that you can keep your parents’ minds active and engaged, giving them a pet is a particularly wonderful option. Studies have shown that interacting with animals is incredibly beneficial to seniors, offering tangible mental, emotional, and physiological effects including easing depression and anxiety, relieving stress, lowering blood pressure, and improving outlook on life. Taking care of a pet also requires your parents to use their memory skills, critical thinking skills, and cognitive processing skills, while giving them a valuable sense of responsibility, importance, and accomplishment.

While many people immediately think of animals such as dogs and cats when it comes to pets, these animals are not appropriate for all seniors. Not all living spaces allow these animals, the care required for them may be too strenuous for your aging parents, or they may just not like these types of pets. Whatever the situation, not having a cat or dog does not mean that your seniors miss out on the benefits of having a pet. Any type of animal interaction that your seniors enjoy can be beneficial, and there are some pets that offer not just the ability to care for them, but soothing ambiance as well.

Setting up an aquarium for your aging parents is a great way to give them something they can take responsibility for within their elderly care journey, but also adds visual appeal and a soothing effect to the home. Watching the fish swim is known to help people relax and feel calmer, and can create a more tranquil environment.

Use these tips to help you set up an aquarium for your parents, and to help you, your seniors, and their non-medical home care aide care for the tank and its underwater inhabitants successfully:

  • Choose the right size. Gone are the days when it was considered acceptable to put a fish in a little bowl and set in on a table. To ensure the health, happiness, and longevity of the fish you must make sure you have enough space. Determine where in your parents’ home you will keep the tank so that you know the best size. Go for as large a tank as the space and your budget can handle.
  • Choose the right fish. Fish are notorious for being difficult to keep alive, but there are some species that are far hardier than others. Research different types of fish to determine the difficulty level of their care, how large they grow, how much space they need, and who they can share space with safely.
  • School them. Some fish are happy to live on their own, but others are schooling fish, meaning they need to be kept in groups in order to thrive. Find out how many you should have and ensure you purchase the appropriate size school to reduce stress on the fish.
  • Make it healthy. You do not want to just bring home your parents’ new fish and toss them into a tank full of water out of the tap. Instead, take the time to properly prepare the aquarium before purchasing the new pets. This is a great opportunity for you to spend time with your parents, get them actively engaged in the experience, and stimulate their minds. Follow all instructions for setting up the tank, treating the water, and regulating the temperature to ensure the healthiest environment for the pets.
  • Keep it healthy. Once the fish have settled into their new home, make taking care of them part of your regular elderly care routine. Encourage your parents to feed them, perform water changes, and clean the tank regularly. You might want to consider adding a couple of snails to your new underwater friends to help with maintaining the algae levels. Talk about their fish care regularly to keep their minds working and give them the emotional boost of feeling connected to their pets.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Worcester, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (508) 917-6649