The pandemic hit nursing homes very hard. Nursing home residents are lonelier than ever before because the staff heavily restricts visitors for the residents’ own protection. This had the unfortunate effect of isolating the seniors who live in the nursing home. They feel a lack of companionship and affection because they can no longer see their families as often as they want to.
Fortunately, the Good Samaritan Society in Scotland, South Dakota has a program in place to help its residents. They got an adorable therapy animal named Gracie to help cheer up the senior residents. Gracie is a really cute golden retriever puppy and her job is to be as sweet as possible to everyone she meets. She’s very good at cheering people up!
Gracie brings joy to nursing home residents
Pam Stewart is the social services manager for Good Samaritan Society — Scotland and she’s Gracie’s owner. Pam takes Gracie to work every day to play with the senior residents. They hold and hug the small puppy and play with her. Everyone at the nursing home loves Gracie because of her innocent and sweet disposition.
According to Pam, Gracie’s presence had a huge effect on the residents. Pam says that she sees a lot more smiles thanks to Gracie. The puppy’s presence also gives residents something to talk about besides gloomy news updates about the pandemic. Gracie visits about 30 residents per day, together with Pam, and her presence brightens up the days of everyone around her.
How dogs improve our health
Gracie provides a valuable service to nursing home residents. Many of the seniors feel lonely because they miss seeing their family and friends. Gracie is there to provide them with happiness and companionship. According to experts, pets like Gracie provide tons of health benefits to seniors.
A pet can increase their mental and physical activity and improve their mood. A dedicated in-house dog can also provide nursing home residents with all the benefits of owning a pet without any of the necessary duties and responsibilities. Playing with a puppy is a fantastic way to boost your mood.