Outrage at Covid puzzle for elderly with words like ‘fear’ and ‘ventilators’

A COVID-19 word search sent to elderly residents at a York independent living complex has sparked fury – after it included words such as “ventilators”, “fear” and “job losses”.

Residents and their families at Vyner House in Acomb hit out after a puzzle inviting them to find words and phrases, which also included “fever”, “nursing homes” and “job losses”, was pushed through their doors.

Vyner House in Front Street, Acomb, is an independent living complex of about 55 flats where the owner-occupiers are all over 65 and managed by a company called Accent, which has since apologised for the “inappropriate” print out calling it an “unfortunate mistake”.

The daughter of one of the residents said her 94-year-old mum was horrified that an A4 newsletter put through her door outlining the changes of York going in to Tier 2, also contained the Covid-19 word search on the back.

Printed with the tag line “just for fun” the puzzle encouraged residents to look for words and phrases associated with the pandemic.

The daughter, who did not want to be named, said: “What were they thinking, giving this to elderly people who have been isolating in varying degrees for the last seven months?

“We were so horrified we didn’t know where to turn. Some people who live there are on their own and the thought of going in to a nursing home or on to a ventilator could be very frightening.

“I find it pretty unpleasant actually, and adding ‘just for fun’ just seems to make it all the more cruel. People are actually losing their jobs because of the impact of this virus and how that could be deemed ‘fun’ by anyone is beyond me.”

A spokesperson for Accent said: “This was an unfortunate mistake which was not meant to cause any upset to our residents, but we appreciate it has and we will be apologising to them. Newsletters of this nature are often produced locally with good intentions and we usually receive positive feedback from our residents. However, we recognise this one was inappropriate and, through some extra training, we will make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

York Press | News