Driving Our Economy Forward: Serious Health

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — It’s important to take our health seriously.

And that’s where one Chattanooga business gets its name – Serious Health.

Let’s look at how they’re changing elder care in America.

It’s one way they’re driving our economy forward.

“What we do is we place elders and people with intellectual disabilities into homes of nurses,” said Gideon Thomas, owner of Serious Health. “Think about it like foster care, but instead of for kids, it’s for people that need help and support. We do this all across the area, so we need as many nurses as possible that want to provide support to people in their personal homes.”

Thomas says they try to match nurses and patients with similar interests.

“We try and make sure that we do a cultural match so we’re asking questions like, what type of food do you eat, what type of music do you listen to, what holidays do you celebrate. Because the need is there and you’re going to be much more satisfied when you’re around like-minded people that have the same values.”

She says they get their referrals through the insurance companies for people who are qualified for Medicaid.

“If you’re Medicaid qualified and you need daily care services and don’t want to go to a nursing home, you can tell your caseworker and your caseworker starts the process to get in contact with us,” Thomas said. “We try and find as many nurses as possible that have rooms in their home that are open, and we transition them to entrepreneurs. You can have up to three people in your home, and everyone has to have their own room.”

Their nurse program is called Next of Kin Care.

“A lot of people don’t have any next of kin. There’s a high population of people that are homeless, or people that you know just really never had kids or connected with people in their community in that way, and so we take a lot of them,” Thomas said. “And when we put them into a home, they become part of Serious Health family. And so they get Next of Kin Care.”

Thomas says their nurses are top notch.

“Our nurses are absolutely outstanding. They celebrate birthdays, they do make sure that care is given on a regular basis,” she said. “Those people are our heroes, and we’re blessed to be able to help them transition. It’s a good fit for everybody to get the best care on a daily basis.”