Return to work

Thanks Janet

Thanks, I know exactly what you mean about standing and talking.The other morning I had been walking my dog and was on my way back to the Car and met a friend of mine and we chatted, then another lady I knew with her dogs so basically I went through the whole I've had a stroke story again. When I got to my car I was totally wiped out. Don't get me wrong it's nice to see people but at the moment it's hard work.

thank you for this post colin, thank you

Employers can not possibly make a reasoned response to a stroke survivor. They need to hire an expert for the day.

and i speak as someone who employed 100 staff. Then worked as an employee and then worked in GPs surgeries. So i got to see all sides. Times have changed, but principles have not.


Have you seen the Stroke Associtation's resources?

Phased return, with consultation from your manager, HR, possibly your union rep (if you have one).

Good luck!



Hi Rich hows things going?smileyregards Bernadette yes

Just starting to get some strength back at last thank you hope you are ok

Hi Rich,


I returned to work on a phased return after 6 months because I felt able to return. However in hindsight I can see this was way too early. I had no mental energy left for anything or anybody and it badly affected our homelife. I was literally closing my laptop and going straight to bed. My employer was initially understanding but once I'd made the step of returning it was impossible to back peddle. My stroke taught me that when circumstances change the drain on your brain can be much more telling.

I would just be cautious and give yourself time. Best of luck!



Look at the Brain Injury Trust website. They have several factsheets that both myself & my employer including the Occupational Health dept found very useful.


Dear Rich,I had my stroke at the end of 2018 and lost most function on my left side and still lose energy fairly quickly each day dependent upon activities but I've improved to unaided walking and manage a walk most days which does help with feeling better - if the weather isn't kind I walk indoors and also find that 15-20 minutes on a static bike helps - it keeps my knees supple and gets the old heart rate up a bit ! Daily fatigue still gets me. My job was also largely desk based but intensely stressful(leading a large team of specialist surveyors) professional team  and I had to come to terms with not being able to return (even on a graded return basis) as my role wasn't suited to undertaking it on  a part -time basis - so I've recently agreed a redundancy package after reaching state pension age. That said I feel that I still have something to offer and have positive ideas left to explore so I'm setting up as an independent cosultant - I'll hopefully be able to control the amount of work I undertake and when - although there's a lot of initial set up work ! If I can't make it work then I can stop and resort to hobbies etc to keep my mind alert !

With regard to professional help - I was helped by an excellent Occupational Therapist at a company called Sirona (you can find contact details on their web-site) - there should be some OT availability on the NHS if you ask for  a referral from your GP.


Good luck !

Best wishes



I had a stroke (haemorrhage) in January. I had left side inattendance, short term memory loss and fatigue (no physical issues). I tried a phased return to work after 5 months working Tues and Thurs for 1-2 hours. OK for first couple of weeks (working remotely from home). However, I was having insomnia the night before each work day, so ended up stressed and more fatigued. Since then I have been working 3 hours on a Wednesday which seemed to work for me. I had my mind set that after 6 months I would be back working 9 hrs and then back to normal hours by the end of the year (I am one of life's planners!). Its now almost 9 months in and I am still limited to the 3 hours. My job is stressful and although I am currently carrying out the simplest tasks, I am now trying to mentally accept the fact I may never be able to do my old job. My employers have been very supportive so far but for how long I don't know. A few weeks ago I became very down and just felt 'lost'. I then had a review with the stroke nurse who was brilliant. She advised me not to think about it and carry on as I am for now and its upto my employer to decide and take action. I am learning to take one day at a time rather than plan ahead. Its something I cannot control. The hardest part was accepting this! Everyone is different and I am still a work in progress...I have now re-set my goal to gradually increase my hours to a full day on a Wednesday by the end of the year!!! I'm similar to you in that the only pressure is put on by myself. I am trying to deal with that and I understand how hard it is when it's part of your personality and make-up!! You are not alone! 

smileyHello Rich,hope your well,I was going good until end of August got covid and it knocked me off my feet,it's set me back abit in terms of energy and I've done my 1st 45min walk today,boy I can feel how unfit those couple of weeks have made me.anyway I am back at work on shop floor 3hours a shift twice a  week(I may have told you this already if so frownsorry)I was off for 14 months re stroke+furlough,I do what I can and my boss and colleagues are understanding.initially this was a phased return,trial/error kind of thing to see  how I coped,had a few wobbles at 1st but ok now,I asked about upping my hours slightly on mon and boss said no just stay as I am until after xmas then we'll have a review,so theres no pressure there,so its all trial n error if you dont try you will never know,explain your situation and don't push yourself to far at 1st,if your like me tho you will,I still do it now and then say....ow wish I hadn't  have been  so daft I'm paying for it the next day,just carried a bag of shopping home on 1st walk out see what I mean!!!!anyway all the best to you as del boy sez he who dares? Bernadette x


How sad 

my employees have been really good, let me park on site and have given me loads of support 

im still struggling but at least I'm back working 

which has deffo made me feel better , 

shame people don't realise what your going thru but hey stay strong 

at least we are alive good luck 

My employers have been really good too I've just gone back to work after 5 months off Ive gone back graduated return just a few hours over a few days and gradually increase hours and days ,they have been so supporting of me ..pippy 

I live in Somerset and am under the post stroke care of an NHS foundation trust called Somerset Partnership. I am not sure if other areas offer this service or not but one of my therapists is an occupational therapist. She did a back to work assessment with me and wrote a report in which she named a number of constraints I have and the way my employer can support me in getting back to work. These included a phased return, working from home etc.. I have been very lucky in that my employer is supporting me 100%. Larger companies also should have an occupational therapist as part of their HR department. 


I'm sorry to hear it is proving stressful for you. I do not know what I would have done without the support of the post stroke team in somerset.