Woman accused of abusing 95-year-old man under her care

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HOLMES BEACH, FLA. - Holmes Beach Police have arrested 68-year-old Joan Franklin and charged her with abuse of the elderly and neglect of an elderly person.

Police say Franklin was self employed and providing in home care for the elderly on Anna Maria Island, but instead of providing proper care, police tell ABC 7 Franklin was abusing a 95-year-old man.

“She would tie him to the bed, she was very rough with him, she pulled his hair, threatened to break bones and do other damage to him,” said Chief of Police William Tokajer. “He had some fractures to bones and she was not getting him the care he needed in a timely manner.”

Tokajer said during their investigation, Franklin confessed to tying her patient to the bed.  “But she did it under the guise of [protecting] him, which that just doesn't hold water.”

“It is really important when you are living in a community such as Sarasota, with such a high elderly demographic, that we educate the community,” said Nicci Kobriz, the president of Youthful Aging Home Health.  She says it is really important to speak up if suspected abuse is occurring. She says anyone can report abuse and remain anonymous by calling the Florida Department of Children and Families.

“They should call the abuse hotline, which is 800-96-ABUSE, and I will tell you that they respond right away because they take theses reports very seriously,” said Kobritz.

“That is how this came to light was through a witness that saw some of the actions and saw that he was being tied up and they called the elder abuse hotline,” said Tokajer. The Florida Department of Children and Families contacted Holmes Beach Police which opened an investigation. “We did further investigation and we were able to make the arrest and we did get confessions out of the suspect.”

ABC 7 spoke with Joan Franklin at her house. Under advice from her attorney, she refused to comment other than to say is innocent of all charges. She said the truth will come out in a few days and clear her of all wrong doing.