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Unable to clean himself, man may finally get help

The Ottawa Citizen, Hugh Adami, The Public Citizen

The Champlain Community Care Access Centre seems to have taken its time with crabby old Gordon Summers. The Cornwall man suddenly found himself without bowel care in late 2013 after upsetting the CCAC with a tasteless comment about mass murder and the lousy service he was getting. He then threaten to sue the CCAS which he acknowledges probably didn’t help the relationship. Earlier this month though, the Ontario Ombudsman’s office told the Public Citizen that the CCAC was interested in resolving the issue with the former client. Summers had complained to the Ombudsman’s office about the CCAC suspending his homecare services. After the Ombudsman’s office spoke to the CCAC, and was given assurances, it felt it was no longer needed. “We reviewed Mr. Summers’ issues, made inquiries with the CCAC, and determined that we would not be looking at the matter further as the CCAC was prepared to work with Mr. Summers to address his issues,“a spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail to the Citizen on August 5. But the CCAC, which coordinates services for clients with homecare agencies in Eastern Ontario, didn’t seem to be rushing to get it done. Summers, 62, is a very sick man, with a number of serious health conditions. The bowel care seems almost secondary to those problems – hepatitis C, blood clots, and obesity, to name a few – until he describes what it is like to go for hours in soiled clothing because he is unable to clean himself.  His doctor has requested his bowel care be restored … There is some good news, however, Summers received a second call from the CCAC Friday morning. He was told he might qualify for direct funding through a provincial program. He was told to get in touch with the Ottawa Independent Living Resource Centre. Cantankerous Summers did not disappoint when he was told there is a waiting list for funding and that he might have to wait months for approval. “I said: Who’s going to help me right now?” She said: We can’t help you. I said: That’s really nice.”

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