Kathy and Murray Tough are the owners and operators of Serenity Home Care, an in-home non-medical caregiving company on Vancouver Island. For over twenty years, Kathy has been a leader in community service organizations as the Executive Director of a YMCA and a YWCA and a Community Recreation Consultant with the City of Calgary. Murray has over twenty years business experience. Kathy and Murray are active volunteers. Kathy has served on the boards of a number of community organizations and volunteers at numerous sports events. Kathy is currently a volunteer with the Family Caregiver Network in Victoria. Murray has served on the boards of industry associations; organized school science fairs and is an active volunteer with the Rotary Club, and Island Prostate Centre in Victoria. Murray currently serves as President of the Harbourside Rotary Club and is the Past Board Chair for Island Prostate Centre.
A series of events in the Tough’s lives highlighted the need for in-home caregiving services. Murray’s father and brother-in-law both died of cancer and both chose to die at home with dignity. It fell to the family to provide all of the non-medical caregiving. Kathy’s father had Alzheimer’s disease. As the illness progressed it fell to Kathy’s mother to provide full time caregiving. Living over 6000 km away meant that Kathy could only provide occasional support. As the disease progressed, it became impossible to leave her father alone. This meant that Kathy’s mother was unable to leave the home unless a caregiver could be found. It was only when the situation became a crisis that the family was able to access a very limited amount of respite care. Eventually Kathy’s Dad had to be moved to a facility. Seeing the toll that this disease took on Kathy’s family convinced Kathy that she wanted to help other families through this difficult time by providing caregiving services in the community.