The family of a 94-year-old woman assaulted by her caregiver hired the suspect through a popular website called care.com.
Memorial Village police are now looking for that caregiver, 54-year-old Brenda Floyd, who is wanted for assault with bodily injury on the elderly/disabled.
A webcam showed Floyd repeatedly hitting Dorothy Bratten, who has Alzheimer’s and can’t speak for herself.
Bratten’s relatives were shocked when the webcam they put up on New Year’s Eve showed the New Year’s Day attack.
They were reviewing the video the next day and saw the assault.
They told police they found Bratten on care.com three years ago.
The online marketplace has been around for 10 years and claims to have 22 million members. In addition to senior care, they list services for babysitting and petsitting.
The site does not screen or vet people who post ads for jobs. A disclaimer says “care.com does not employ, recommend or endorse any care provider or care seeker, nor is it responsible for the conduct of any care provider.”
Users can pay to run third-party background checks.
AARP says a background check is definitely a must. They also recommend unannounced visits to see how things are going and calling all references before you hire someone.
“Usually when you go two to three deep in the reference cycle you’ll get some of the best opinions,” said Memorial Village Asst. Police Chief Ray Schultz.
Schultz says if you’re letting someone into your home, you should insist on their full name, address, emergency contact information, driver’s license, vehicle tag number, birthday and social security number.
Here are some websites to help in your search:
AARP caregiving resource center: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-08-2010/pc_home_care_worker.html
The Department of Aging and Disabilities website has some quick links to check someone’s eligibility:
Other questions, like how to find licensed agencies, other facilities and how to report abuse can be found here: https://www.dads.state.tx.us/contact/
If someone claims to be a licensed registered nurse (RN) or a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), they can check License Vocational Nurses or Registered Nurses through the Texas Board of Nursing: https://www.bon.texas.gov/licensure_verification.asp