Gracie Is One Good Girl Giving Out Hugs to Residents at South Dakota Nursing Home
As indoor family visitations slowly begin again at nursing homes in accordance with federal guidelines, Gracie the golden retriever is keeping the residents' spirits up as they look forward to the day they will be hugging their own family.
Gracie is giving out unlimited kisses and hugs to the residents at a South Dakota nursing home in her designated role as “the center’s new pet.”
Earlier this month, the 3-month-old golden retriever started making her rounds at the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, a retirement and assisted living facility in Scotland, SD, cuddling and comforting the senior citizens each day. During these rotations, she is always with a staff member to ensure that she is on her best behavior and her human friends stay safe, People reported.
Pam Stewart, the social services manager of the Good Samaritan Society and Gracie’s owner, told "Good Morning America" that she started bringing the puppy to work with her and has seen the positive effect it has had on its residents.
"We've seen a lot of smiles, cuddles,” Stewart said. "It's giving them a lot to talk about versus what they've seen in the world.”
Gracie appears to be a natural at the role she was assigned, which is “to bring happiness and joy to resident and staff," according to a March 14 Facebook post written by the
Before Gracie joined the team at Good Samaritan Society, there was a dog named Hope that spread joy to the seniors before her passing in November, ABC News reported.
As indoor family-visitations slowly begin to reopen in accordance with federal guidelines since its closure last March due to COVID-19, Gracie is keeping the residents' spirits up as they look forward to the day they will be hugging members of their family.
Dennis Gruhlke told Good Morning just how he feels about Gracie. "I talk to her and pet her," said the 66-year-old resident.
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