Home Health Aide Convicted Of Abusing Elderly Patient

Video Shows 86-Year-Old Dragged Around By Her Ankles

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A disturbing case of abuse was caught on camera in Brooklyn.

A home health aide has been convicted of brutalizing an 86-year-old woman who suffers from Alzheimer’s, leaving her on the floor while she watched television, reports CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu.

Home surveillance video set up by the victim’s son helped convict 53-year-old Elizabeth Peters of abusing the elderly woman she was paid to care for.

The video shows the victim left on the floor after a fall for more than an hour as the caregiver ignored her.

“She was walking around, she was watching TV, she was changing the channel, going back and forth to the window, to the kitchen,” Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney David Kim said.

The camera also caught Peters dragging the woman by her ankles across the floor.

“Beyond that, she pulled her two more times, by her arms, while she was still on the floor,” Kim said. “She subjected her to a risk — an unacceptable risk.”

The victim’s son had set the video camera up a year before the incident, and caught the images just two weeks after Peters started working for the family.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is hoping the conviction sends a strong message.

“There’s going to be consequence,” Hynes said. “We are not going to tolerate this kind of abuse.”

The victim is currently being cared for in a nursing home. Peters will be sentenced in January, and she faces up to one year in jail.

The jury deliberated for less than two days before coming to a guilty verdict.

More from Cindy Hsu
  • Angela

    The aide in this case is not a monster as the media has portrayed her. Remember, a video only shows one part of the story. Peters was actually helping the woman to the chair and they both fell back.The media and the prosecution (by way of the family) made it seem as if she pushed the chair from the woman. She made a grave mistake in trying to move her by her ankles, granted, but harm was not intended. The woman was to heavy for the aide to move on her own and she tried as best as she could. She propped the patient up in seated position, and was sitting down for twenty minutes not absentmindedly watching tv, but trying to get her strength back to lift the patient. Hence why you see here trying to move her again across the room. There is no question that she did not choose the wisest way to move the woman, but that is what happened here. Now watch the video again, and apply what you’ve just read. There is always two sides to a story, and I, for one, will never jump to conclusions about anything reported in the papers. One story actually wrote that the aide killed the patient. SMH.

  • NJ HHA New York

    Some home health aids are not trained properly on how to care for Alzhimrs patient. HHA’s that have been in the field for a long time need to know that this sort of treatment is unacceptable. That it puts them at risk for felony conviction and the agency who employs them serious law suites. This is why the Home Health agencies are coming down on the new applicants for HHA’s. Furthermore, a lot of HHA’s feel that they are not paid enough for they job that they are doing. The pay rate starts at $7 to $8 an hour. Not to say that being paid so little has to do with this aids behavior, however; who knows what was on her mind. Now she has to deal with the consequences of her actions. And us qualified HHA’s have to deal with our agencies that employ us dealing and looking at us as though we are criminals. Believe me they do perform thorough criminal background check and they have a new system to tell them at what agency you worked for and if you did something wrong. Qualified HHA’s it is only going to get worse for us.

  • janet petronella

    thats a terrible shame,i wonder from what agency she came from? we have an aide taking care of my 97 year old father also with alzhimers.shes a wonderful person,but its my dad whos very verbally abusive towards people,hes suckerpunched me in the face full force and blackened my eye.

    • sherene stewart

      That’s just shameful. I am a home health aide myself. This job is not for everyone. There are a lot of people who have decided to do this because of the recession. I hope this incident of a bad aide will not put a bad taste in people”s mouth. There are still many of us who go above and beyond our call of duty everyday. My heart goes out to the family of this patient. I will keep them in prayers.

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    Good, it’s about time we stood up for the elderly! They made it so we could live better today…

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