Leaving work to care for wife

Hi everyone, I’m new here so forgive any mistakes, basically my wife has Epstein Barr virus in her system and it has caused her to develop cfs/ fibromyalgia , anyway coincidental as it may seem ever since she has had the first Coivid jab her condition has worsened ,but i n any case she needs round the clock care because of other issues , my question is how easy or difficult is it to leave work to be a full time carer, cash flow , help, support etc ,thanks ,sorry for waffling but I am getting really stressed about the decision to leave work

Don’t do it, until you have explored every other option!
Has your wife had a Needs Assessment from Social Services?
Claimed Attendance Allowance?
How old are you both.
Do you rent, or have a mortgage?

Stay at work and get help for your wife. There are many solutions available if you like your job. That job maybe your saving grace.


Thanks bowlingbun, we are both 63 and have a mortgage, my wife has been assessed and various pieces of equipment installed however the main problem is she cannot get herself on to the toilet and the carers won’t help her without a sling affair which will not fit in our downstairs toilet ,so i am having to come out of work during the day to attend to her hence the question of leaving work

There are solutions.
Has an Occupational Therapist assessed the situation?
In the meantime, a caravan Ports Lotti with a toilet frame elsewhere I the house?
How will you pay the mortgage? Carers Allowance is around £60 a week!
Ask Social Services to do a Needs Assessment for your wife, arrange an Occupational Therapist assessment, and a Carers Assessment for you, URGENTLY.
They are supposed to help carers stay in work. They might even adapt the house.
What is the nature of her disability?

A Commode is required in this situation, (plus hoist and sling).

OT will provide all that.

The more you lift your wife the higher the risk of an accident. And both of you end up injured. Ask for an urgent O/T assessment. You can do a self referral for your wife you don’t have to wait.

As you are near to pension age. It’s important to check out how you pensions will be effected. If you leave employment so close to retirement date.

Do you actually want to leave your employment.

Hello Russell and welcome to the forum.

Sorry to hear about your situation, it can be really difficult to make decisions regarding working and caring. You might be helpful to look through our Help and Advice pages and see what support is available to you, there is also a section on working carers. Have a look here:

Best wishes


Hi Russell,

The advice from others here is probably best in your situation but there is also another option - you could request a sabbatical from work where you take a period of time off unpaid but keep your job and continuity of employment, I’ve just started caring for mum full time and have been granted a year sabbatical from work, and they have indicated they’d consider extending if necessary.

If nothing else, a sabbatical gives you breathing space to make decisions in a less pressured way. While unpaid I am entitled to carer’s allowance and mum gets the higher rate of attendance allowance, which I would think your wife will get too. I used an independent agent (at a cost of £35) to do the forms and make my applications for the allowances, which also helped as I was overwhelmed at first.

Very best of luck with everything.

Jean are you able to expand on this …It may well help others

I used an independent agent

Hi sunnydisposition, without identifying the actual agent I used I’m not sure I can! They were recommended by the Carer’s Hub at my local authority. They provide financial advice, advice on what benefits and allowances you qualify for, and legal advice/services including applying for LPA (which we had to do because we found that mum’s old EPA had a signature missing). They charged a small fee for applying for allowances (£35), and the going rate for LPA application.

I am really glad I used them as the things I needed to sort out were whirling around in my head and it helped so much to have someone put it all in order.

I suppose people could ask their local authority carer’s hub for contacts?

Thanks Jean

That’s very interesting as I never heard of this being an option. I think many people would benefit excuse the pun. I would be more than happy to pay a small fee.

I’ve never heard about it either, I’m fairly certain Hampshire doesn’t have anyone like that.

Hello Russell. You are 63 and have a mortgage.

Many people at your age are looking forward to retirement. In difficult circumstances, such as yours, they might even try for early retirement. This should give a decent pension, though slightly less than if they had worked till 65.

Others are not. They dread retirement and want to carry on working. I was past 70 before I retired fully.

You say that you are stressed up at the idea of having to give up work. This suggests to me that you come into the latter category. You are looking for a way to combine working with caring. The fact that you have a mortgage also suggests that you should continue to work if practicable. Paying a mortgage out of a pension is possible but not ideal.

I presume your manager is aware of your situation. You mentioned coming out of work to assist your wife. One possibility would be to reduce to working part time. As with the other possibility, a sabbatical, this would depend on whether your employer would find it convenient to offer you this.

If you belong to a trades union, I suggest you talk this over with your representative. They can often come up with useful suggestions about your employment options.

It does seem to be a local thing. I don’t want to post the agents I used as it would be advertising, I think? I notice Stockport has a similar service - I don’t live in Stockport and didn’t use them so I suppose I can mention them? If not would a moderator please remove the mention?

The SignPost money wise service in Stockport seems very similar to the one I used. A person came out on a home visit and filled in the forms for me, I signed them and they posted the applications for me. For the carer’s allowance and attendance allowance forms the service cost £35, and I paid the going rate to the same people to complete forms and apply for LPA. I’m not sure if SignPost charge for their services but as they offer a home visit and form filling, I would imagine they do.

Failing anything in your local area, perhaps ask a solicitor what they would charge? For LPA application my solicitor would have charged just slightly more than I paid the service I used.