If you’re an adult child that has just learned that the local health department has served a notice on your parent about the state of your parent’s home, you likely find yourself very concerned. Your parent may have reached out to you for assistance with the matter. In the alternative, you may have learned that your parent is in this situation through a third party.
If you have become informed about your parent’s issue with the health department through someone who is not your mother or father, that reality may have added to your stress over the situation. You need not add to your stress level because someone else informed you of this situation.
The reality is that many adult children find out their parents are in this situation through third parties. This occurs for a number of reasons, including seniors that are embarrassed about their situation and share their plight with no one until they are absolutely backed into sharing the state of affairs with others in a voluntary manner.
There are a number of things that you need to tend to if you are helping your parents address a health department notice:
- Note the deadline
- Evaluate the situation
- Reach out to the health department
- Engage the assistance of a professional
Note the Deadline
When a person receives a violation notice from the local health department, there will be a notice by which compliance must be made with the directives contained in that notification. In most instances, the notice permits 30 days to address the issue that is the subject of the notification.
You may find that additional time is needed to comply, particularly if the issue involves hoarding. In a good many instances, if you reach out to the health agency – which will be discussed a bit more in a moment – you may be able to get additional time for your parent to rectify the problem.
If you learn of your parent’s situation with the health department after the deadline on the notice has passed, you need to quickly contact the agency. Provided this is the first time your parent has received a formal notice, and provided not a tremendous amount of time has elapsed since the deadline, you are likely to get some leeway in getting the residence cleaned up and in a proper condition. The kicker to accomplishing this is making contact immediately when you learn of the situation so that additional time does not unnecessarily elapse before you take at least this action.
Evaluate the Situation
You cannot make assumptions about the state of affairs at a parent’s home. With this in mind, you need to personally evaluate your parent’s situation when it comes to the state of affairs at their home.
For example, you will require a different level of services if your parent’s issue is hoarding than is the case if hoarding disorder is not a problem, but the home is nonetheless filthy in its condition. There are companies like Eco Bear that can provide you with a full spectrum of cleaning and remediation services depending on what you evaluate the situation to be at this time.
Reach Out to the Health Department
A moment ago, we discussed contacting the health department if the need for additional time to cleanup the residence is necessary. There are other reasons you might be interested in connecting with the health department in regard to your parent’s home as well:
The health department can provide more information about your parent’s situation. For example, if your parents received a formal notice from the health department, odds are that they have heard from the agency previously. Having that information might prove helpful in addressing the current situation.
You may be able to glean contact information for other resources that might be helpful to you in regard to your parent’s situation. In a moment, we provide more detailed information about retaining assistance from a professional home cleanup service.
Engage the Assistance of a Professional
If your parent faces a health department violation notice for the state of their residence, consider engaging the assistance of a residential cleanup professional or a hoarding remediation specialist (if hoarding is the issue at hand). An example of a company that provides these types of vital services is Eco Bear. Eco Bear provides thorough, comprehensive cleaning services that restore a residence to a fully livable and healthy condition.
In addition to engaging a professional cleaning and remediation service like Eco Bear, you may also want to consider seeking out a mental health professional, a counselor or therapist, that might be able to provide supportive assistance to your parent. This particularly is the case if the state of your parent’s residence is the outgrowth of hoarding disorder.