They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.
However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.
Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Ida, LA is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.
Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.
Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.
The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Ida, LA. Always Best Care is here to help.
“Always Best Care feels like a family! We truly care for each of our clients”
Always Best Care feels like a family! We truly care for each of our clients and do everything possible to ensure the best care is provided. We have caregivers available 24/7 as well as a 24/7 phone line in case of emergencies.
“We love Always Best Care! They have helped a number of our friends and family”
We love Always Best Care! They have helped a number of our friends and family with home health care. We couldn’t be more thankful to Keith, Kim, and their family, as well as the staff! Highly recommend this business to anyone living in or around Shreveport, Bossier, Minden, Natchitoches etc!
“I work with a wonderful group of people in the office. Everyone tries to help”
I work with a wonderful group of people in the office. Everyone tries to help each other and is there for one another. This is a rare thing to find in an office with different personalities. The caregivers and clients care about each other which makes them a joy to interact with and the relationships they form are great for the clients (and caregivers). We just finished our caregiver appreciation days where we had food, games, prizes and fun. We have raffles and a caregiver of the month. The company has been planning events and other things to show how much everyone's hard work mean to us. The client's and their families wellbeing and happiness is important to us all. The clients and their families are appreciated and are given personal attention when needed and the co always has the client's best interests at heart.
“Excellent patient care ! management and staff were wonderful!”
Excellent patient care ! management and staff were wonderful!
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“Always Best Care feels like a family! We truly care for each of our clients and do everything possible to ensure the best care is provided. We have caregivers available 24/7 as well as a 24/7 phone line in case of emergencies.”
“great company and does great things in Shreveport!”
“I love working at Always Best Care! Everyone is so welcoming! I would recommend ABC to anyone who is in need of a great career choice or care for a loved one!!!”
“Shifts are flexible and the office staff will answer your questions or get you answers. Both are a big plus for me.”
“Always Best Care is a Awesome, Excellent Company to work for .Awesome office workers .Some Caring and Awesome Caregivers .I love working for this Company!!”
“We love Always Best Care! They have helped a number of our friends and family with home health care. We couldn’t be more thankful to Keith, Kim, and their family, as well as the staff! Highly recommend this business to anyone living in or around Shreveport, Bossier, Minden, Natchitoches etc!”
“Caregivers truly care about the clients they assist daily. Office staff and caregivers work hand in hand to provide Great care for your loved ones.”
“I work with a wonderful group of people in the office. Everyone tries to help each other and is there for one another. This is a rare thing to find in an office with different personalities. The caregivers and clients care about each other which makes them a joy to interact with and the relationships they form are great for the clients (and caregivers). We just finished our caregiver appreciation days where we had food, games, prizes and fun. We have raffles and a caregiver of the month. The company has been planning events and other things to show how much everyone's hard work mean to us. The client's and their families wellbeing and happiness is important to us all. The clients and their families are appreciated and are given personal attention when needed and the co always has the client's best interests at heart.”
“Wonderful In Home Care with certified caregivers. Guarantee the services”
“This is a wonderful company to work for and service! Our caregivers are full of compassion.”
“Best. Staff... And .caregivers available.... Who work around the clock for you. A service that is 24 hours... Can always reach them. ...”
“Best. Staff... And .caregivers available.... Who work around the clock for you. A service that is 24 hours... Can always reach them. ...”
“24/7 hour services..... and the best staff. n caregivers..”
“I recommend this place for anyone that would like to get services here or even just working for them is great! Very professional”
“I love working for Always Best Care. The staff is always friendly and very welcoming. I’d recommend this company to anyone who’s looking for a job or to someone to care for their loved one’s.”
“Absolutely love working here. To work with other peopps that share the same interest in helping people like i do is a blessing.”
“Top-notch care and facilities with friendly staff.”
“Professional, safe, & reliable. If you are looking for the perfect caregiver-client relationship then this is who you need to call. A+++++”
“I'd efinitely recommend Always Best Care”
“ABC is the best! Their caregivers are very professional and caring. They are CPR certified and have training.”
“Compassionate, kind and wonderful people to care for loved ones. From the moment they answer the phone you know they listen and truly care about who they serve!! Thank you wonderful folks!”
“The,Best decision that I,made choosing Always Best Care Senior Staffing to take care of my Aunt.”
“Always Best Care provider of exceptional care for your loved ones. Going above and beyond to assist with care and meeting family expectations.”
“Excellent patient care ! management and staff were wonderful!”
How does In-home Senior Care in Ida, LA work?
Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.
The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.
At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.
To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:
Personal Care Services
If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.
Common personal care services include assistance with:
Home Helper Services
Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.
Common home helper care services include assistance with:
Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.
According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.
When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.
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Benefits of Home Care in Ida, LA
Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care.
Age in Place
According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
Peace of Mind
If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
Personalized Care Plan
No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client's individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor's appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior's needs are exceeded.
Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.
Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors
While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.
In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.
Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:
How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?
A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Ida, LA, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.
Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.
For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.
Cost and Convenience
More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.
With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Ida, LA gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.
Affordable Care Plans
In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.
Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.
At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.
In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:
Aid and Attendance benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.
Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers
When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.
Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.
At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Ida,LA understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.
Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.
Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.
Taking the First Step with Always Best Care
The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:
An assessment of your senior loved one
An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home
Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs
Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.
If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.
When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.
Louisiana communities devastated by Ida, bouncing back two years later
LAFITTE, La. —Aug. 29 marks two years since Hurricane Ida made landfall, devastating many communities in Southeast Louisiana.Jean Lafitte, in Jefferson Parish, was hit particularly hard.Mayor Tim Kerner Jr. told WDSU that in the immediate aftermath of the storm, he was unsure how his community would recover."When that sun came up, I really thought to myself, 'Can we survive this? Is there a tomorrow,'" Kerner said.Lafitte has come a long way since Ida. Many businesses have r...
LAFITTE, La. —
Aug. 29 marks two years since Hurricane Ida made landfall, devastating many communities in Southeast Louisiana.
Jean Lafitte, in Jefferson Parish, was hit particularly hard.
Mayor Tim Kerner Jr. told WDSU that in the immediate aftermath of the storm, he was unsure how his community would recover.
"When that sun came up, I really thought to myself, 'Can we survive this? Is there a tomorrow,'" Kerner said.
Lafitte has come a long way since Ida. Many businesses have reopened and homes are being rebuilt. Kerner said his administration is also focused on strengthening the town's infrastructure, including gas lines.
A similar effort is underway for all of Jefferson Parish, especially Grand Isle. The coastal community saw significant damage to most of its structures and leaders have spent the two years since the storm rebuilding.
Councilman Ricky Templet, who has a home in Grand Isle, said there are more than 150 building permits underway on the island currently.
"(Those buildings are) being built back bigger and better than ever," Templet said. "Let's be clear, all the buildings that were built to new standards, national building code, survived the storm with minimal damage."
Building structures that can better withstand major hurricanes is also a goal in Lafourche Parish, where Ida made landfall in 2021.
Parish President Archie Chaisson told WDSU that it continues to be a focus of recovery efforts there.
"For example, maybe we ice and water shield our entire roof decks instead of just that felt paper, so when the shingles do come off during the storm, we're not seeing that water seep in through our roof decks," Chaisson said.
The idea is to better protect homes and possibly, secure a discount on homeowner's insurance in the process.
Chaisson said a lack of affordable housing is another problem his parish is facing.
"We still have some 700 people spread out in temporary housing across Lafourche Parish. It's still a struggle," Chaisson said. "I think at the height of it, we had some 3,000 to 4,000 people in temporary housing, so we've dwindled that number quite a bit over the last few years. That's a positive sign."
Then, there is the ongoing struggle to secure funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to rebuild.
In Lafitte, Kerner said the local high school is still closed because the money needed to repair it has not come through yet.
"That school was devastated. Everyone knows it," Kerner said. "This community doesn’t work without that high school, and it’s a high school (which has merit that) should put it at the top of a list and we need to get it back."
Meantime, local leaders are celebrating every step forward, thanking citizens who spearheaded those efforts.
"People of Jean Lafitte, Lower Lafitte, Barataria, Crown Point, in the midst of their worst tragedy, they showed their greatest strength," Kerner said.
Louisiana still recovering two years after Hurricane Ida made landfall
BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — People in south Louisiana are still feeling the effects two years after Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 storm at Port Fourchon.The major hurricane reached the state’s coast at 11:55 a.m. on August 29, 2021, with winds up to 150 miles per hour.Blue tarps are still on homeowners’ roofs, Congressman Garret Graves said in a T...
BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — People in south Louisiana are still feeling the effects two years after Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 storm at Port Fourchon.
The major hurricane reached the state’s coast at 11:55 a.m. on August 29, 2021, with winds up to 150 miles per hour.
Blue tarps are still on homeowners’ roofs, Congressman Garret Graves said in a Tuesday statement. He said some are still spending time fighting insurance companies as they try to rebuild.
“We won’t stop pushing the federal government to get disaster assistance out the door in a faster timeframe,” said Graves. “We will also keep working to secure additional investment in hurricane and flood protection projects like Morganza-to-the-Gulf, Upper Barataria Basin Project, West Bank Project, and other critical coastal restoration projects to protect Louisiana’s coastal communities from future storms.”
In a video, Gov. John Bel Edwards talked about the anniversaries of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Laura and Ida. He said the anniversaries of these storms can bring back “painful memories” but commends residents’ spirits for having the “will to rebuild stronger.”
Louisiana Commissioner Directs Insurers to Talk to Policyholders as Hurricane Ida Claims Deadline Looms
A day after the Louisiana Supreme Court announced that it is lifting a stay on hurricane-damage lawsuits filed by McClenny Moseley & Associates, state Insurance Commissioner James Donelon on Thursday issued a directive warning insurers not to...
A day after the Louisiana Supreme Court announced that it is lifting a stay on hurricane-damage lawsuits filed by McClenny Moseley & Associates, state Insurance Commissioner James Donelon on Thursday issued a directive warning insurers not to use a letter of representation from the law firm as an excuse not to communicate with claimants.
“It has been suggested to me that some insurers are refusing to communicate with policyholders solely because they have received a letter of representation from MMA,” Donelon said in Directive 221. “The letter of representation from MMA is no longer valid given that this firm is absolutely prohibited from practicing law in the state of Louisiana. Therefore, the LDI will not now consider this a valid reason to excuse an insurer’s obligation to communicate with their policyholder, as La. R.S. 22:1896 prohibits an insurer from this type of business practice.”
Owners of property damaged by Hurricane Ida have only a few weeks to file damage claims. The storm passed through Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2021 and the state has a two-year statute of limitations.
MMA admitted during court hearings that it mailed 856 letters of representation to insurers when it did not, in fact, represent the property owners. The law firm actually filed hurricane damage claims for those properties because it represented Apex Roofing and Restoration and other contractors.
That admission led to a series of court hearings that resulted, first, in district court judges barring the law firm from pursuing lawsuits in Louisiana federal courts and then an order on May 10 by the Louisiana Supreme Court barring MMA from prosecuting any storm-related lawsuits in the state system. The Louisiana Supreme Court also suspended the law license of William R Huye III, managing partner of MMA’s New Orleans office, while the state Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel investigates his actions.
The Louisiana Insurance Department fined MMA $2 million for “fraudulent behavior,” which also included presenting demands for payment and negotiating settlements with insurers without the authority of or even the knowledge of the policyholders.
The insurance commissioner’s directive tells insurers to contact Magistrate Judge Michael North with the Eastern District of Louisiana if they are trying to determine if their policyholder has obtained new counsel. The judge is compiling a list of former MMA clients whose lawsuits were stayed.
The state Supreme Court issued an order on Wednesday that will lift its stay on MMA lawsuits on Aug. 16. The court explained Edward J. Walters, a trustee the court appointed to manage the transfer of the law firm’s case files to other attorneys, reported that he has completed his work. The court’s order authorizes judges to stay proceedings for up to 30 days if new attorneys taking over MMA files need more time to prepare their cases.
New Orleans insurance defense attorney Matthew Monson, whose complaints about MMA led to the law firm’s downfall, said the law firm is involved in an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 claims, but not all of them resulted in lawsuits. He said he doesn’t expect any increase in litigation because the stay is being lifted.
“The two-year statute of limitations on Hurricane Ida creates a deadline of Aug. 29, 2023 to file lawsuits, so we expect an increased volume as the deadline approaches,” he said.
Photo: Homes are flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Aug. 30, 2021, in Jean Lafitte, La.
Families impacted by Hurricane Ida struggle as insurance claim deadline closes
A family in Edgard, fears they could be homeless soon. They have a home, but it is still unrepaired since Hurricane Ida.EDGARD, La. — A family in Edgard, fears they could be homeless soon. They have a home, but it is still unrepaired since Hurricane Ida. And they are worried the temporary trailer will soon be taken away.The deadline for lingering insurance claims from the storm that destroyed homes across Southeast Louisiana, is fast approaching.“In the kitchen the entire ceiling was down,” Shalon Saul says as...
A family in Edgard, fears they could be homeless soon. They have a home, but it is still unrepaired since Hurricane Ida.
EDGARD, La. — A family in Edgard, fears they could be homeless soon. They have a home, but it is still unrepaired since Hurricane Ida. And they are worried the temporary trailer will soon be taken away.
The deadline for lingering insurance claims from the storm that destroyed homes across Southeast Louisiana, is fast approaching.“In the kitchen the entire ceiling was down,” Shalon Saul says as she tours her home.
She could have never imagined that nearly two years after Hurricane Ida, her family home in Edgard, would still be unlivable.
“It's just unfair that you do what you're supposed to do. You pay your insurance and they take you through these motions of going back and forth and for what? You know, I did right. You need to do right,” said Saul.
Shalon's mother was handicapped and ill. So, along with her daughter and nephew, all four lived in her mother's 4,000 square-foot home, to care for her. Then Ida came and destroyed it all, opening up the roof, allowing hours of wind and rain to shred their memories, room by room.
“It's so hard, so, but I got to keep pushing. I got to keep pushing. That's all I know how to do.”
But Shalon could not have known that the storm was only the beginning of a nightmare she still can not wake up from. Her contractor said for her to be made whole, would cost upward of $300,000. As supply prices went up, another said now it's more than $400,000. Her policy states her coverage comes to more than $650,000. But her insurance company said no, and wrote a check for $117,000. She went to battle with them and got another $30,000. So, with the $147,000 in claim money, she got rid of all the black mold, got a blue roof, then a new roof, put in new sheetrock, bought all the fixtures for new bathrooms, new plumbing and electrical.
Then a letter came in the mail.
“‘Unfortunately, we're not going to pay any more on this claim.’ And I already knew I was dropped at this point, but once insurance stopped paying, my contractor is like, ‘I got to move on.’ So, everything stops,” Saul remembers.
The family was bounced from RVs, to hotels, and relatives’ homes. Last year, her aunt passed away. Then, just months later, she lost her mom too. Shalon now wears her mom's image on her shirt, and her ashes around her neck.
“I feel like it was trying to break me, but I was fighting because I'm fighting for her. You know, she wanted to come home, and I'm going to get home one of these days. I'm going to get home,” Saul said with tears streaming down her face.
“I imagine there are a lot of people in Louisiana who are going through situations like this, where they don't have a place to lay their head at night,” said Saul’s attorney Wynton Yates.
Yates is an attorney with the Kherkher Law Firm. Shalon asked the firm to represent her when her case stopped moving forward.
“These folks will tell you straight up, ‘I didn't even want to contact an attorney, because I don't want it to look like I'm trying to make money. I just want to fix my house.’” said Yates.
“If the claim hasn't been fully paid yet, the likelihood that it is going to before the deadline, is really, really, really low,” said attorney Chad Wilson of the Chad T. Wilson law firms.
Wilson is an independent attorney whose firms specialize in property insurance. And he says after August 29, the second anniversary of Ida, property owners will no longer have the option to get a lawyer, and fight an unfair claim. He says studies show three quarters of people are underpaid on a claim, and around a fifth are grossly underpaid, or denied.
“Part of these studies, they found that the longer they can make the homeowner, or business owner, wait, the more likely they will accept less,” explained Wilson.
Shalon has been waiting for nearly two years, that's why she got an attorney before the deadline. Still her mediation hearing to settle keeps getting canceled and delayed. She and her daughter and nephew are living in a tiny trailer on her fiancé’s property. He lives in one next to her. He had no insurance, and got no help from FEMA, or an SBA loan. So, his home hasn't been touched since the storm.
“When I come out and do my prayers, I look at life, because if you stay in there, the walls are like, they closing in on you, especially after you're grieving,” said Saul.
Friends are going through the exact same struggle, but are scared to speak out. She’s scared with no insurance now, she'll lose what's left of the home. She's on disability for injuries she suffered, and can't afford it. People, like her cousin. “Miss Stella” help her get through the struggle, along with her toy poodle Jolét.
“I just want to come home. I see family. I see laughter. I see life again when I come home. Every day we get a new start, and that's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to just take every day as a new start and see positive,” she said.
And then the family found a poem in their mother's belongings entitled “Don't Quit.”
“So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit. It's when things seem worse, that you must not quit,” Saul reads the last line of the poem.We have contacted the GeoVera Insurance company a few times for comments, and have still not heard back.
Lawsuit, Adjuster Say UPC Altered Louisiana Estimate After Hurricane Ida
The practice of insurance companies revising independent adjusters’ damage reports may be as widespread in Louisiana as it is in Florida, according to adjusters and a plaintiffs’ attorney who has filed a lawsuit over it.“...
The practice of insurance companies revising independent adjusters’ damage reports may be as widespread in Louisiana as it is in Florida, according to adjusters and a plaintiffs’ attorney who has filed a lawsuit over it.
“They changed my estimate completely. I couldn’t believe it,” said Joseph Lahatte Jr., an independent claims adjuster who was hired by United Property & Casualty Insurance Co. to work a homeowners’ claim in south Louisiana after Hurricane Ida.
Lahatte’s initial estimate for a home in Cut Off, Louisiana, in the low-lying area south of New Orleans, showed $182,137 in damage, mostly from wind. With depreciation, the actual cash value was $178,551. That estimate, produced with the widely used Xactimate software, was submitted to UPC in September 2021. A few weeks later, UPC sent the homeowners another estimate, showing the damage was worth $35,830 after depreciation.
“I stopped working for UPC after that,” Lahatte told Insurance Journal last week.
Both estimates, on UPC letterhead, include Lahatte’s name. The one-page introductory wording is identical. “We completed an estimate of repair for covered damages to your property. Please note, depreciation may be applied to your estimate…,” the reports note.
Both of the Landrys’ estimates were provided to Insurance Journal by Kirk Guidry, a Baton Rouge attorney who represents the homeowners, Raymond and Tuyen Landry. The differing reports came to light after Lahatte, during his initial inspection, verbally told the Landrys that the home was almost a total loss and that his estimate would show that. When the Landrys received the final estimate from UPC, they were shocked and called Lahatte with questions, Guidry and Lahatte explained. Outraged, Lahatte printed his initial estimate and provided it to the family.
The family then asked a UPC representative about the huge discrepancy. “But all they (the UPC representative) said was, ‘How did you get the field adjusters’ report?'” said Guidry, who is with the Dué, Guidry, Piedrahita and Andrews law firm.
The homeowners filed a lawsuit against UPC in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, charging that UPC’s final estimate was “unreasonably low and extremely unfair” and that United was not acting in good faith. UPC removed the case to federal court. The suit has been placed on hold, essentially, because St. Petersburg, Florida-based UPC has been deemed insolvent and is in liquidation.
The Landrys will likely see at least part of their claim paid by the Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association.
United’s chairman and CEO, Dan Peed, declined to comment about the allegations.
Lahatte, a former lawyer, and other adjusters said that UPC has long had a reputation for undercutting field adjusters’ reports. A federal lawsuit was filed in Florida in 2022, charging that UPC had engaged in racketeering by routinely instructing its desk adjusters to reduce estimates, and text messages to adjusters reflected that. That suit was dismissed by a federal judge who found that state courts, by law, should handle insurance regulation issues. A Florida lawyer in the case has said that the plaintiffs are considering renewing the suit at the state level.
Adjusters have said that other insurers and claims adjusting firms hired by insurers have taken similar claims-cutting actions for years – in Louisiana, Florida and other states.
“We’ve seen the same thing from other companies,” said Mark Vinson, a Louisiana-based independent adjuster who works claims around the Southeast.
He and Ben Mandell, another independent adjuster, said that insurers and claims adjusting firms have sometimes changed the numbers on price lists for materials and labor. While all the needed work is shown on the final estimate, the costs have been drastically reduced, they said.
Vinson and Mandell were two of three adjusters who spoke out about the practice at the Florida Legislature in December, sparking a controversy that has been widely reported by the Florida news media. The adjusters said that some insurance carriers have repeatedly altered their estimates but left the field adjusters’ names on them, an action they and some Florida officials have said amounts to fraud.
Florida regulators have announced they are now investigating the alleged fraud. Vinson and Mandell said they had spoken with investigators from the Florida Department of Financial Services.
“My hope is that we’ll get some arrests,” Mandell said. “If Trump can be arrested, then someone in this business can be arrested, too,” he added, referring to the recent New York indictment and arrest of former U.S. President Donald Trump on business-fraud charges.
A bill now moving through the Florida Legislature would prohibit insurers from altering field adjusters’ reports without including a list of changes, who made the changes, and why. The Florida Senate’s Banking and Insurance Committee approved the Insurer Accountability Act last week by a vote of 8-0. It’s now in the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee.
One Florida insurance carrier has denied ever altering field adjusters’ reports. Others in the industry have said that insurers may choose to legitimately revise estimates due to policy exclusions, cause of damage, depreciation and other reasons.
Questions About Adjuster’s License
A few insurance industry advocates have also questioned the motives and the backgrounds of the independent adjusters who’ve made the allegations. And critics are likely to question Lahatte’s veracity and the legitimacy of his work on the Landry claim.
Records show that Lahatte, who lives in Metairie, had his Louisiana adjuster’s license revoked in 2016 for failing to disclose that he had a previous professional license suspended. The Louisiana Department of Insurance, in records provided to Insurance Journal, noted that Lahatte was suspended from the practice of law in 2003 over allegations of commingling and converting third-party funds.
His probationary status was revoked in 2006 for failure to comply with the terms of his probation, the LDI and Louisiana Bar documents show. In 2012, formal charges were filed, alleging that Lahatte had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. In lieu of disciplinary proceedings by the Bar, Lahatte resigned his law license. The state Supreme Court agreed and permanently revoked his license.
“I didn’t reveal some things that I felt were not related to adjusting,” Lahatte said last week.
In 2019, Lahatte voluntarily surrendered his Mississippi adjuster’s license, records show.
When asked if he had worked the 2021 Landry claim without a Louisiana license, Lahatte said he had obtained an emergency license at that time. A Louisiana insurance department official and a records request, however, indicated that no other records regarding Lahatte’s license could be found since the 2016 revocation.
“It is still cancelled,” said a representative with the LDI’s producer licensing section.
Guidry, the attorney for the Louisiana homeowners, said he was unaware that Lahatte’s license had been revoked.
Lahatte, who was driving a school bus last week, said he hopes to have his Louisiana adjuster’s license reinstated at some point, and that he is now licensed in Florida. Florida DFS records show that Lahatte held a non-resident adjuster license from 2013 to 2019, and an emergency license from 2019 to 2020. The emergency license was renewed in 2022 and is still active.
A Canadian software company now has an app that its founder said would help prevent insurers from altering adjusters’ reports. RocketPlan would post adjusters’ reports in real time and would allow all interested parties to see them, along with insurance companies’ final estimates, explained Joe Tolzmann, CEO of the startup insurtech.
The app uses blockchain technology, making it almost impossible to hack or fabricate data and documents, he said. The app also can be connected to sensors showing moisture levels in water-damaged parts of buildings.
The trick, of course, would be to get carriers to use the software and to allow policyholders to access it.
“We’re negotiating deals with a couple of insurance carriers now,” Tolzmann said last month.
Top photo: Aiden Locobon, left, and Rogelio Paredes look through the remnants of their family’s home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, Sept. 4, 2021, in Dulac, Louisiana. Homes across south Louisiana were damaged by the storm. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
Rabb is Southeast Editor for Insurance Journal. He is a long-time newspaper man in the Deep South; also covered workers' comp insurance issues for a trade publication for a few years.
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