Elderly – What It Is And What It Is Not
Also by sky_lady
As time goes by, the whole nature suffers great changes - and your neopet is no longer an exception. He can't run as he did before, his eyes don't see as well as it used to, his memory is no longer what it was and, the worst part, he can more easily get sick. You cannot deny this fact: he is becoming elderly.
Sounds terrible, huh? But stop fooling yourself! As all the other ages, the elderly has its disadvantages. However, not everything is as dark as it seems. If you are too much worried about your neopet, this guide can make your life easy, helping you to take care of him so he can stay healthy, robust and happy like he always was trough the years.
1: Old habits never die!
The first thing you must have in mind is, in spite of all the physical and mental changes your neopet is going through, he still remains the same neopet. A little bit different but, nonetheless, the same neopet, with the same old habits, likes and dislikes. His hobbies may have changed, it's true, so maybe he now prefers to stay home watching TV instead of going out, running after butterflies... On the other hand, if he always loved to play Pyramids, probably now he doesn't want to do anything else in his life. Old habits never die, but at this time he begins to like other activities and new interests. However, don't you think that he is becoming a stranger – he still remains the same, as always.
2: Neohome - comfortable and safe.
Since now your neopet spends more time staying at home, you shall always certify yourself that he is comfortable and safe. There is a lot of things you can do to make this happen: keep the windows always closed (you don't want him to get Sneezles, right?), avoid having at home a lot of rugs (he runs the risk of slipping and falling) and don't put those useful objects in the highest shelf (he would have to stand up on a chair, and he can fall and break a leg, or worse!). And the most important thing that you can't forget is to always give him the TV control remote so he doesn't have to get up from the sofa – this will for sure prevent any damage, you have no idea about the awful things that happen when a neopet has to leave the sofa :P
Outside the door, you must always be careful and close the front door because of all those evil creatures that walk over Neopia spreading fear and terror, like Balthazar and the Pant Devil - I'm sure that your neopet does not want to have a meeting with them! Remember that now, more than ever, it's hard for him to protect himself; he doesn't have all that speed as he used to have while fighting in the Battledome.
3: Physical exercise - to do or not to do?
A lot of owners think that elderly neopets cannot practice any kind of physical activities - but it's wrong! It's a myth! Actually, elderly neopets not only can but also MUST do it. It's true that now your neopet has less energy and gets tired more quickly, but it doesn't mean that he must stay all day lying in bed, especially because it's not very healthy. I'm not saying that your neopet must practice sports like ski or go climbing a mountain like the Shenkuu Warrior, but if he wants to swim in the pool or go outside and explore a little of Neopia, why not let him do that? Also, even if he is not sportive, you shall encourage him to practice something, even ballroom dancing! However, if he says 'no'.... maybe it's better to respect his decision – never force your neopet to do something that he doesn't want to do.
4: Games - what, where and when.
As you must have noticed, your elderly neopet no more wants to play with balls or usuki dolls (and usuki dolls are so cute!!). The games he preferred to play when he was younger and he used to find funny, today he doesn't see them the same way, nor find them funny at all. Why? Well, he grew up and now he prefers intellectual and quieter games instead of the rush ones. Do not get bored, there is still a thousand and one ways to get fun with your neopet! For example, try to play with him games like Kou-Jong or Clockwork Codebreaker, instead of others like Meepit vs. Feepit or Mutant Graveyard of Doom. And you must remember that now your neopet get easily impressed, so don't play terror games that can scare him, like zombie games and such!
So, if he wants to stay at home, playing board games, Cellblock or Kacheekers sounds perfect. The best time for you to play a game with your neopet is when he is relaxed - if he refuses to play something, try again after he takes a nap. Don't give up of spending time with him (because he needs it - a lot!) and try to play something with him every day. Maybe he can earn you a shiny new trophy for your cabinet! He might be slower but he still has those skills!
5: Horror story? Wait...
If you are planning to spend the night with your elderly neopet sitting on the sofa and eating popcorn while watching a terror movie... Oh, I'm sorry, but I'm going to give you the advice to not do it (here I am killing all the joy). As I said before, elderly neopets get scared more easily than others. He might get scared about something that isn't scary at all - and I personally think it is not funny when we live with fear of everything under the sun, don't you agree?
So, you must avoid all movies, books or games that can shock your neopet. Yes, his heart is now weaker! However, you can still get in some quality time with him by watching comedy or animation movies instead of terror ones. Sounds a great idea!
6: 'You can't teach an old dog'?
'You can't teach an old dog' is the biggest lie people say about elderly neopets. Yes, elderly neopets are the smartest ones, they know more things than anyone and have a lot of life experience. But it doesn't mean that they can't learn more things when they become elderlies! Actually, there is NO age for learning something - anyone, in any age, can increase their knowledge. Your elderly neopet not only can still learn new things, but he also is the best neopet to teach the others all the things that he already knows.
In fact, mostly of the elderly neopets love to spend the time reading books and becoming more and more intelligent. So, you must never deny your neopet the opportunity to learn new things. Yes, maybe it's a little hard for him to learn a new language... but if he wants to learn to play piano or to cook that delicious orange cake, you should show him all your support – but please stay with him the entire time while he learns to cook that special cake, because you don't want him to set fire to the kitchen, right?
7: No is NO.
You must not deceive yourself: a 'no' is definitely a resounding 'NO'. So I repeat: never force your neopet to do something he doesn't want to, and never try to change his mind; you must respect and love him just the way he is, even if he has changed a lot when he became elderly.
Respect to elderlies is one of the basic rules of the society. So, you should respect your elderly neopet's decisions and satisfy all his needs, wishes and wills. Since he lived so much, he deserves, in any occasion, to be respected - actually, he deserves to be treated like a king! (luckily, he doesn't read neither ear as good as he used to and he will not read the word 'king', eheh). Please, remember that everyone, one day, will become elderly; so, it is pretty simple: treat your elderly neopet the same way you want to be treated in the future, when you'll be in his situation. Piece of cake!
8: Keep some friends close... and other friends even closer.
Another myth related to elderly neopets is 'they have no social life'. What? Why do people say that? In elderly, neopets become more peaceful and calm, but it doesn't mean that they become shy! Actually, they can have a lot of friends that were accumulated throughout their lives.
Friendship is important now, more than ever. In fact, your neopet have to be surrounded by friends, so he doesn't become sad and depressed... You should encourage him to hang out with his friends, invite them for a hot coup of tea, or other activities they can do together. When your neopet feels alone, why don't you give him a photo album so he can remember his friends more easily? Or why don't you plan a little surprise party for him? He would love it!
9: Do not treat your elderly neopet like he was a baby.
The owners of elderly neopets tend to treat them like they were babies instead of elderlies. And you know what? There is nothing worse than that... So, you should try to avoid the same mistake.
Now, your neopet needs help to do a lot of things, but he is not invalid, so don't make he feel like if he was! Yes, you should always be there for him, if it is necessary, but try not to do things that he can do by himself. Help him only if he asks for it. If your neopet can do things alone, he will feel more realized and, obviously, happier.
10: Golden rule: make him feel worthy!
Wow, we finally reached here! Well, the last topic of this guide, the golden rule, is nothing more than a summary of all I have said above: you MUST make your neopet feel worthy and be proud of him, not only because of who he is, but also because of who he was until now.
You watched your neopet growing up. Both of you spent years with each other's company, you two shared adventures and misfortunes... You two have a life in common! Your neopet, for you, is the best of the entire Neopian world, and for him, also you are the same. What you have is everything that a lot of people are looking for. That is why you should always make your neopet feel special like no one else!
I hope you enjoyed this guide and that it will be useful for you! From now on, there is no reason to your elderly neopet does not feel the happiest one in the Neopian world. Finally, I would like to congratulate The Neopets Team for the new color they released for us – thank you, we appreciated it a lot! :P