Senior Housing Advocacy

Senior Housing Advocacy is an unofficial term used to describe the effort involved in bringing a senior’s house into housing compliance – making the home safer, reducing health hazards and helping the senior remain in their home.  Senior Housing Advocacy only applies to the living condition of the home, not the financial affairs.

Every day, seniors worldwide face challenging issues that make it difficult, if not impossible, to continue to live in their homes.  The loss of housing independence can play a role in financial issues, family issues, stress and mental health issues.  Health and safety issues, when properly addressed, corrected and maintained, can help a senior remain in their home.

In different states throughout the United States, the department that oversees the needs of adults may have a different name and a different function.  In South Carolina, the Department of Social Services oversees Adult Protective Services, who generally responds to wellness checks, ensuring that the senior is living in safe and healthy conditions.  For instance, if a senior falls in their home and a first responder arrives to provide assistance, a report may be filed to open a case to perform a wellness check to ensure the senior is living in a safe environment.  If the senior is not deemed a “vulnerable adult,” but numerous health and safety issues are observed, the senior may be given a specified period of time to get the issues corrected so the senior can continue to live in the home.  These issues may include, but are not limited to: tripping hazards, toppling hazards, pest infestations (roaches, spiders, bed bugs, fleas, etc), fire hazards, severe clutter/hoarding, gross filth, etc.  Many of these issues exist simultaneously, making compliance much more difficult if the senior doesn’t have extensive help.  Plus, many professionals may be an expert in on area, but may not know how to properly address the issues if more than one exist.

Senior Housing Advocacy seeks to provide useful information to seniors and/or governmental agencies facing these types of challenges, especially when the senior is at risk of losing their home.  Relocation costs are generally expensive and many times, relocating doesn’t fix the underlaying issues.

Many of the issues that are discovered have an element of severe clutter or hoarding in the homes.  There are many companies that can assist with debris removal, but very few that can handle issues directly involving code enforcement housing compliance.

Another issue that arises in gross filth, which can rarely be properly addressed with residential cleaning companies.  Gross filth is generally characterized by the accumulation of trash and other debris that accumulates in a home.  It is generally unwanted and many times not considered hoarding behavior and can happen when a person is facing severe depression and/or develops a physical limitation that prohibits them from taking out the trash.

In some hoarded and gross filth homes, a mouse and/or rat infestation can occur.  In some municipalities, a rat infestation can be deemed a public health hazard and the resident can be forbidden to enter the home until the health hazard has been rectified.

One of the biggest issues that can occur is a bed bug infestation.  Many times, a home health care worker may notice the bugs, or in some cases, may be the carrier of the bed bugs.  Pest control companies have different methods of eradicating the bed bugs, such as chemical sprays, fogging, heat treatment, or a combination of these techniques, but generally require a prep list to be completed prior to the treatment.  The bed bug cleaning lists are generally extensive and many times, cannot be completed by the senior.

For information on Senior Housing Advocacy in South Carolina, North Carolina or Georgia, visit Palmetto Commercial Services at https://www.palmettocommercialservices.com/hoarder-cleaning-south-carolina/.  Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeniorHousingAdvocacy or follow us on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/@seniorhousingadvocacy