Life has gone full circle for Chris and Karen Qualls Kerr. Thirty years ago as teenagers and college students they worked together at LUM’s Restaurant on Airport Road. Chris went on to a career as a Medical Technologist and Medical Sales Representative and Karen, who has a degree in Health Education, had a career as Registered Dental Hygienist. Today after 25 years of separate healthcare careers, Chris and Karen are working together again with Home Independence Services — doing business as, Tender Heart Support Services. Chris and Karen have been aware of the move from hospital-only based care since the 1970’s.
Chris’s mom, Nancy Kerr, a British trained RN, was Tennessee’s first Hospice nurse in 1977. She and her husband, Jim, were well known for visiting hospice patients together. Nancy became prominent as a speaker on the advantages of caring for a sick family member in the home. Home Independence Services, is based on Christian values [Matthew 25: 35-40] and focuses on providing care for elderly and physically challenged individuals or couples, who with some degree of non-medical personal support, are able to thrive in their own home.
Tender Heart’s Caregivers also help the quality of life for clients in Assisted Living or Nursing Homes. They provide personal support when needed in the convalescence immediately following surgeries in which the client, with some help at home, is able to manage with less stress! One of the main things seen by the Kerr’s is the need for “respite care”, or relief, that family members need when taking care of their own loved ones. Hospice care also has been a specialty of the Tender Heart Support Service from its inception. “Hospice” is the concept of keeping the terminally ill family member at home rather than the hospital. It takes a special Caregiver to help the family keep their loved one home in this difficult but rewarding time. Home is their loved one’s most comfortable environment to spend their last days. We all look forward to the day when we will receive a new body free from the problems of this life! Hallelujah! But, in the meantime, the Caregiver combined with the “Power of Prayer” is a tremendous blessing to both the Client and Caregiver!
Both Karen and Chris have deep Tennessee roots and come from large families. Chris says, with a gifted pool of Caregivers we find that we are able to put our “Dear Clients” with the “Best Fit” of a “Tender Hearted Caregiver”! Home Independence Services provides their “Tender Hearted Caregiving” service primarily in Knox, Blount, Anderson, Roane, Loudon and Sevier Counties.