Can't cope with work, kids, house, dog and visiting my wife in hospital

My wife (49) suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm 23 weeks ago and is still in hospital. She is suffering with aphasia, dysphasia, pain in her right side meaning she doesn’t move her arm or leg and she isn’t fully cognitive (yet). I have no doubt she will remain in hospital for some time and we have a long long road ahead of us.
We have both worked all our lives, she has been with her current employer for 28 years and I’ve been in my position for 25 years.
When this initially happened in August I took 5 weeks leave from work whilst she was in ITU, once she was moved to a ward I said I would return to work, which I did and they have been very good letting me leave a few hours early everyday to visit. But the longer this goes on the more guilty I am feeling about not being in work full time.
But besides work we have 2 girls, 1 is 19 and working, the other is 17 and in full time college, a dog and a house to keep on top of (washing, cleaning, cooking, maintenance etc)
Now my wife is in hyper acute rehabilitation I can see improvements, but I want to spend more time there during the therapy sessions and encouraging her to keep going.
But I’m struggling to balance work, home, family and visiting to a point where I’m permanently knackered so something has got to give, so I am considering leaving my job.
Neither of us have ever claimed a penny in our lives, we have always been fortunate enough to be employed, so my question is, should I decide to give up work is there any help / benefit I could apply for ?
I presume that whilst my wife is in hospital she will not be entitled to claim anything ?
I hate to be in this position, I have always paid my own way and in 37 years of working I’ve only ever had 1 week off sick when I caught chicken pox from our eldest when she was a baby !

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@SteveWc9 welcome to our forum. It sounds like your wife has started improving. I’m sorry she had a stroke and yes it will be stressful for you.

I do not think you should feel guilty about leaving work early to help support your wife with therapy.

Do you have any family to help out with washing or housework? Your daughters are at an age where they can help you with dog walking, or a little tidying up.

Can you afford to leave work and become your wife’s FT carer. It sounds like your work is really accommodating and great place to work.

I’m not sure what you could be entitled to as my husband works, it’s just me that doesn’t now.

Have you asked the citizens advice or even on this stroke forum for financial advice?

Hopefully someone can give you some better advice on here.

I wish your wife plenty recovery. Also you, luck and patience as it will help you if you take baby steps.

Keep talking to us and lots of luck. Kind wishes Loraine

what a hard decision for you. I definitely think that you should investigate whether you and/or your wife can claim any sort of benefits either now or in the future to make your life easier. On the other hand your work sound much more flexible than many and being there will give you some outside interests, some self-respect and some other people to talk to. It might also, in the future, give your wife an opportunity to do things on her own or with outside carers. I have taken early retirement as has my husband who has a life-long disability (Spina-Biffida). We are fortunate in being able to do so (we both have occupational pensions which we have been able to take and as long as we are careful we are OK) however we do enjoy time apart. I can’t imagine being together all of the time.

@SteveWc9 that’s such a difficult situation for you to be in. One thing you can guarantee with stroke is that it is life changing, not just for the stroke survivor, but their loved ones too.

I would speak to Citizens Advice or local council benefits oeople re what you could claim. I know, in the past, if you just leave a job they didn’t pay benefits for first few weeks/months as you’d in effect put yourself out of work.

Could you take some inpaid leave from work? At least you’d have a job to go back to when the time was right. Could you afford to work less hours? Your children are also old enough to help out loads so if they don’t already ask them to do more. Are you making the most of things like online food shopping? Do you have other family / friends that might help.

Does your employer have a scheme like the charity for civil servants where they can offer some financial assistance? Are you a union member? Do they offer something?

Your health / wellbeing is equally important so make sure yoh take time tor yourself. Does it matter if the housework isn’t done this week fir example.

Wishing you all, all the best.

Ann xx

Have you looked at cutting back your hours and claim UC I know it’s hard being on benefits but you have to do what is best for u family that’s why the benefits are there with kind regards des

Hi Steve so very sorry to hear about your wife, but you must look after yourself as well in all of this.
Like others have said your place of work seem very understanding and perhaps you could come to some sort of compromise with working less hours just to keep some normality in your own life.It will both important to both of you and your wife to have time apart.
When I had my Stroke my husband carried on working from home and also went into the office 3days a week. My daughter would call round physio and OT would call in friends would come round for a cup of tea and must say I enjoyed those days it gave me time with friends and gave my husband back some normality.
We also have a cleaner for 4 hours a week shop on line.
Your 2 daughters are old enough to help with walking the dog and things around the house.
Look after yourself and I do hope your wife is improving take care. Dottie

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Hi @SteveWc9 …. So sorry to hear about your situation. I agree with the posts above … my suggestion is yes, start the ball rolling by contacting your local CAB. Make sure they realise the urgency also they’ll prioritise your case more (hopefully :+1:).

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And then of course there’s the Stroke Association Helpline …. They’ve been so helpful all thru my SS journey to date :relaxed: 0303 3033 100.

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You could ring your local Age UK if you’ve reached 50

Telephone: 0800 678 1602

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There is also carersuk.org Their email address is advice@carersuk.org.
Telephone: 0808 808 7777
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm

Quote from www.gov.uk re carersuk:

“You can get advice on issues including:

Carers UK runs an online forum where you can connect with a supportive community of other carers. They also run free online meet ups.”

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Maybe also try https://associationofcarers.org.uk/
info@associationofcarers.org.uk)
Telephone: 01424 722309

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I’m not sure but there’s also something called Attendance Allowance that you might be entitled to. And your Wife might be entitled to PIP…Personal Independence Payment … over £600 every 4 weeks, depending on your circumstances.

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Overall, I personally would asap firstly ring your local Council, ask to speak to Adult Social Services, the Duty Social Worker … and ask for an ‘Assessment of your Wife’s needs’. And also an Assessment of YOUR needs as her Carer. You are still your Wife’s Carer even though she’s in Hospital.

Also, ask to speak to an emergency Social Worker, who may be able to help you sort things out right now :crossed_fingers:

This may lead to a Personal Care Package awarded to your Wife … to pay for Carers at Home, which may help you stay at Work (looking towards the future there). Best to get on any waiting lists early!

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Your GP Surgery might be worth a visit? They might be able to advise you too re:

A) What can be done right now
B) What can be set up for the future
*Try and get your Wife onto any waiting lists for District Nurses etc. if you’re planning Care at Home.
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I hope I haven’t overwhelmed you! :face_with_spiral_eyes: with all this :yellow_heart: @SteveWc9 It seems a lot, but once you get ‘into the System’ and everything is set up … things should settle more.

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What Benefits you receive will depend on your personal circumstances… my advice is to be as detailed as you can when filling out questions on forms about how things are, how the situation affects you/your Wife. Actually there is an Advocacy Organisation called ‘The Advocacy People’ … if you need anyone to support you, and the CAB will help you fill in any forms.

And any brick walls …. (Just a suggestion) go straight to your MP.

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And there are SO many grants to help people in difficult circumstances.

Turn to us is an organisation that you contact, and you fill in a form online, and various Charities will be suggested. For example if you have worked in Retail, Travel Industries, for example, associated Grants will be suggested. Maybe your Daughters could take that on as a Project?

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Finally, there may be a Voluntary Organisation locally that can help you with practical tasks at Home, shopping, walking the dog etc.

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I’m not an expert on Benefits or any of the above, but this just from my own experience. I can really relate and I sincerely hope that your Wife continues to improve.

Remember to take care of yourself too … Keep warm and safe and keep us updated Steve :sparkles::sparkles:Anne :sparkles::sparkles:

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@SteveWc9 sorry to hear about your wife and the situation you find yourself in. The other posts have covered everything, I just wanted to say I hope everything works out for you.

Take care

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Thanks for all the advice so far.
I had my usual routine this morning, got up at 6am, had a shower and got ready for work then took our dog for a walk. Luckily my youngest daughter had a home study day today so she agreed to look after Toby (the dog). That meant I could go to work alone (he usually has to come to work with me), finish at 1.30 so I could make it in time for Vicky’s Physio and OT at 2.45.
I did feel guilty leaving at 1.30 but I really wanted to be there for Vicky’s sessions as I have attended any since the new year.
It was really good, they had her moving her right arm, not great but it’s moving !
Then I got to sit with her for a few hours and just talk and laugh. At one point she said something, I can’t remember what she said but as she was saying it I counted 10 words in a row with no mistakes or stopping while she tried to get the right word.
I do feel that me being there encourages her to try that bit harder which cements the reasons I started this topic in the first place, I need to be there for her more.
I’ve come away from the hospital today quite pleased with what she has achieved today.
I had a chat with my best mate today and told him what I was thinking and how I was feeling, he said just carry on as I am until work say something and then that will force the issue. His next words were stay on the gravy train until you are told to get off it !!!

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@SteveWc9 great to hear your wife did so well today. Sounds like she has a bucket load of determination which is great.

I tend to agree with your mate. If your employer is happy with the way things are at the moment then go with it. As time goes on you will probably be able to increase your hours again & give back some of what they’ve given you.

Best wishes.

Ann x

I’m very sorry to read your challenges. I hope therapies continue to give good results. Progress is likely to come in fits & starts

Don’t let guilty reduce the support you give AND GET and your daughters may need. Seek help to dispel the guilt so you can focus on what you all need

Citizens advice is deffo a place to go
Also stroke assoc help line
Also different strokes help line