The manager of an Auckland rest home is investigating a "horrible, sickening exploitation" of its residents after a staff member apparently mocked them in photos posted on Snapchat.
Two of the photos, which were sent to a person who posted them on Facebook, are selfies of a young man posing with residents of Awanui Home for the Elderly, which looks after people with dementia.
One is captioned "sugar mummy", and shows the alleged staff member with his mouth open and protective mask around his chin with a woman lying on what appears to be a mattress. The other shows him doing the fingers with an elderly man, with the caption "me and my sugar daddy". He is not wearing a mask in that photo.
A third photo shows the woman from the from the selfie lying on the mattress, and is captioned "I'm straight up not having a good time".
Shown the photos, Sharyn Gray - manager of Awanui Home for the Elderly - said they were "dealing with this horrible, sickening exploitation of our residents".
The post on Facebook, which was public but has since been deleted, said the man in the photos "was trying to be a funny guy", and questioned why he'd work at a rest home as he "clearly has no respect".
COVID-19 tends to hit the elderly harder than the young, and many of New Zealand's confirmed cases have been recorded in aged care facilities.