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 !


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


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 !!!


@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