Family of dead senior concerned whether recommendations from IH’s internal investigation will be put into practice

NEWSThis is the first of a two-part report by Michele Young looking at Interior Health’s internal investigation into the death of 79-year-old Jack Shippobotham in a Kamloops care home last June.


The wife and daughter of a 79-year-old man who died after an attack by another resident at a Kamloops care home are watching to see if Interior Health will follow through with a list of recommendations coming from an internal investigation.

Jack Shippobotham.

Jack Shippobotham.

Moneca Jantzen, speaking for herself and her mother Vera Shippobotham, said the summary she received of the investigation contains several good changes. But she questioned how quickly they will be done.

“We were cautioned at the meeting that all of this stuff takes time and costs money and it’s a process,” she said. The family met with Interior Health officials earlier this month to go over the investigation results.

“There’s a lot in here (the report). I was glad to see that they managed to find so much to learn out of a couple of incidents, including what happened to my dad.”

Jantzen’s father, Jack Shippobotham, had lived at Overlander Extended Care for about five months last year because he had dementia that made it difficult for them to keep him at home.

Last June, he wandered into the room of another man living in the Blueberry unit at Overlander. That man, who had a brain injury, was known to be territorial.

Shippobotham was found in the room on the floor, his face bloody, nose broken, hip and pelvis fractured.

He never recovered from the incident. Three weeks later, 79-year-old Shippobotham was dead and his family was getting anonymous calls from Overlander workers that there were safety concerns in the building related to the attacker.

A few months later in a separate incident at a Vernon residential-care facility, one elderly man killed the other he was sharing with.

Jantzen said she was told the Overlander co-ordinator of care was filling in for someone on the day her dad was attacked and so there wasn’t someone properly trained to cope with what was occurring.

“That’s been addressed and they have a new person,” she said.

The rooms in Blueberry did not have locks, either, because the fire marshall had deemed the old ones unsafe should the building need to be evacuated. New releasable locks have now been installed as needed.

“A locked door would have prevented my dad from getting attacked. That’s as simple as it gets. But then they had excuses as for why they didn’t have the locks,” Jantzen said.

“I’m hoping they truly did learn from some of what we went through. . . . I said to them it looks great on paper, but often it doesn’t happen in practice. I just asked them for assurances that they were committed to making this come to life and it wasn’t going to be for naught.”

The B.C. Coroners’ Service is still doing its own investigation. Spokeswoman Barb McLintock said the IHA report would be looked at in conjunction with that investigation. She couldn’t predict when the investigation will be completed.

PART 2 SATURDAY —  The recommendations.



About Mel Rothenburger (8658 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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