TAMPA — Video taken from a home webcam is sparking outrage after a home health care aid was captured both verbally and physically abusing her 94-year-old patient.
Brenda Floyd, 59, is wanted by police in Texas after family members reported the video which shows Floyd repeatedly striking her patient, Dorthy Bratten, on the head.
Bratton’s family hired Floyd after she placed an ad looking for a job on Care.com, a website which does not automatically screen workers. Instead, it allows users to pay extra for a third-party background check.
“No one should be treated in the way people are treated in these videos,” said Patricia Henderson, Elder Abuse Prevention Coordinator at Tampa-based Senior Connection Center.
“It outrages me,” said Henderson, who believes videos like the one captured in Texas highlight the need for loved ones to thoroughly check out home health care workers and assisted living homes. When hiring an individual, Henderson recommends going through a local company that’s licensed and insured in Florida.
The Agency for Health Care Administration, or ACHA, provides a searchable database of licensed companies showing any fines or even complaints.
“I would also interview that person who is going to come into the home. If it doesn’t feel right, that’s is a red flag," Henderson advised.
And instead of just relying on a resume, experts also agree the best information can often come from actually talking to past references.
Elderly abuse experts here in Florida say the Texas case is far from isolated with an estimated 50,000 reports of elderly abuse, neglect or exploitation reported in the state every year. If you suspect abuse contact the Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.
If anyone needs assistance in finding a service for seniors or their caregivers, help can be found by calling the Elder Helpline at 1-800-96-ELDER weekdays during regular business hours. The Elder Helpline is staffed by trained professionals who have access to an extensive database of private pay as well as funded programs and services.
Senior Connection Center's website also has many resources for and about older adults and their caregivers.