Having a pet can be good for you. Pets provide companionship, they can prevent feelings of loneliness, and they generally improve their owner’s lives in many different ways. Seniors can benefit more from the bond shared with a pet than the rest of us do. However, seniors may also find it hard to care for traditional pets like a dog or a cat, particularly if they have age-related conditions to cope with. Fortunately, there are pets that require less maintenance that they can be brought into the home as an alternate pet for seniors.
While they might sound stereotypical, fish have several major advantages for seniors. First, they are relatively easy to take care of (provided you don’t go overboard with exotic, tropical fish). Secondly, they don’t go anywhere, so you never have to worry about them getting stuck under the stairs, or sneaking out of the house while you’re asleep. And they tend to be pretty to look at, which can make the aquarium a set piece, as well as a place for your pets.
Also a touch on the exotic side, lizards are pets that seniors can still pick up, hold, stroke, and play with. However, they are less active than dogs and cats, and tend to be much more manageable in terms of size and speed. They’re still capable of showing affection, but they’ll spend a lot of their time sunning themselves in their tank.
While often thought of as pets for children, hamsters and gerbils can provide just as much entertainment and companionship for seniors. Easy to care for, and relatively cheap, these furry little sidekicks are no real trouble. And if you want to let them out of their cage to roam around, you just need to make sure they have a ball you can put them in.