Two women in the health-care industry have been arrested separately in the last two days on suspicion of abusing elderly dementia patients they had been hired to care for, officials say.
Jennifer Lopshire, 44, was booked into the Pima County jail on one count of vulnerable adult abuse Monday evening and was being held on $5,000 bail.
Shanna Harper, 36, was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of fraud and theft/exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Her bond had not yet been set.
The Veterans Administration hired Lopshire to help care for a 91-year-old Tucson man two years ago, said Assistant Arizona Attorney General Jesse Delaney.
A short time later, the man's daughter, who lives in Minnesota, hired Lopshire to also take care of her 88-year-old mother who uses a wheelchair. The woman requires 24-hour care because of Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and Parkinson's.
The couple were living in an assisted living facility until last year when Lopshire placed the man into a care facility and rented the woman an apartment, Delaney said.
On June 7, one of the woman's other caregivers called 911 to report the woman's mouth was swollen, bruised and cut on one side and that the woman had told her Lopshire caused the injuries when she "lost her temper."
Investigators are combing through the victim's financial records to determine if additional charges are warranted, Delaney said. Other allegations of physical abuse are also being investigated, she said.
Lopshire's preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week.
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Health-Care Workers Arrested in Separate Elder-Abuse Cases