CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Patricia Kathleen Soldeholm is behind bars charged with abuse and neglect of an incapacitated adult.
But it may you surprise by what the 26-year-old is accused of doing.
Chesterfield police say Soldeholm had been caring for a dementia patient inside of this Midlothian home.
But last Saturday, investigators say another caregiver found Soldeholm face down on the floor naked and intoxicated inside of the home.
The patient was unharmed and asleep in her bedroom. But investigators couldn’t say what lead up to the alleged incident.
Officers arrested Soldeholm and removed her from the home.
"It's very disturbing whenever you hear about anything like this,” said Kathy Miller, Director of Programs, Virginia Division for the Aging.
Miller hears about such cases from time to time.
The family of that patient tells CBS 6 that they hired Soldeholm from a website called "Care.com." They say she has been since removed from that site.
But, Miller says you should be cautious with any online site.
“I'm not familiar with that website,” Miller said. “Actually, I would be very hesitant to hire online if I hadn't had the opportunity actually meet them, interview them.”
Miller suggests going with a licensed family caregiver. But, you should make sure they are legit. Check them out first.
“You also want some assurance from them they will send a consistent person that is the person who will be assigned to them. And they won’t be sending a lot of caregivers to the home,” said Miller.
And if that caregiver is ill or unable to come, Miller said to make sure the agency sends a substitute. So, that your loved one gets the care that they need that day.
But, if you decide to hire someone on your own -- here’s some simple tips to follow:
- Make sure to get a background check;
- Get references and talk to those families that they cared for;
- And, have a face to face interview before you hire them.
"You want your vulnerable loved ones to be safe in their homes and you want the people that you hired to come into those settings to be reliable and that you should be able to trust them with your loved one,” said Miller.
Miller added that if you’re the person caring for a loved one with dementia, it can be extremely stressful and exhausting.
That’s why the state has a number of resources you can turn to for help at www.virginianavigator.org/vf or you can call the Virginia Family Caregiver Solution Center at 1-866-393-0957.