How having a stroke in your 40s can change your life

A true story of what happens to a marriage when a debilitating illness strikes twice.


Key Takeaways

  • A sudden illness can put severe strain on a relationship.
  • Caregiving puts pressure on both the patient and the caregiver.
  • Income replacement becomes difficult when one person is affected by a serious illness.
  • Critical Illness payouts can relieve financial pressure on both the patient and the caregiver.
  • Optimism is not a replacement for preparedness

For many people, 40s is a time when they really peak. Their careers are at full throttle, they’ve settled into their homes, and they’re just starting to truly enjoy the finer things in life.

For Stan (not his real name), this was his life: He’d gotten married, bought a home with his partner, and both of them were doing well in their careers. That is, until a stroke changed his reality forever.

Caregiving can strain a relationship

Caregiving is exceptionally difficult. It’s physically challenging, but the emotional toll it took on Stan was a lot worse.

Caring for someone you love, and living with them, is a heavy responsibility. Stan’s role as a primary caregiver to his spouse fell upon him, and that made things even more challenging. Suddenly, he had to learn how to care for a recovering stroke patient with little to no outside help. On top of that, he had to find a way to keep his job so that he could keep his source of income. The emotional and physical strain of juggling a career with his caregiving duties took a serious toll on his mental and physical health.

As much as it was difficult to give care, it was also tough for a formerly active person to receive and accept care. This was the case for Stan’s wife, who was both a corporate high-flyer and a physically active person before her stroke severely affected her mobility. It was difficult for her to face the fact that she was unable to perform simple activities like getting dressed or feeding herself without assistance. She was also worried about affecting Stan’s career and this made her feel an urgent need to recover. This pressure she placed on herself added to the thick emotional tension that was already there.

While most people could see the physical difficulties, very few people knew about the heated words and quiet tears. The pressure this put on the relationship was immense, and often pushed both of them to the edge.

Strokes are expensive to survive

When it comes to a debilitating illness like a stroke, hospitalisation costs are just the tip of the iceberg.

Due to the nature of the illness, the daily cost of care is high. The first layer of costs are medication, transport and additional doctor’s visits. However, a good recovery calls for more than just medication and a doctor. Stan had to buy new equipment to help with mobility, find good physiotherapy and pay for follow up treatment at specialists and licensed alternative medical providers. All these costs add up over time.

Another hidden cost of stroke recovery is the loss of income. Singapore’s high cost of living means that most homes depend on dual incomes to make ends meet. With one person down, the costs of living were being shouldered solely by Stan.

Fortunately, both of them had the foresight to get critical illness coverage for themselves, taking a huge mental burden off the both of them. With the insurance payout, Stan was able to choose the best available care for his wife. At the same time, all their bills were covered while she recovered, and she did not need to worry about needing to work for another stream of income. This much needed relief meant that they could both focus on her full recovery.

Optimism is important, but preparedness is key

For those of us living our lives to the fullest, Stan’s story is a cautionary tale of preparedness.

Strokes are Singapore’s 4th leading cause of death (Singapore Stroke Registry Annual Report 2020), and has been affecting more and more people in our affluent society. While we can and should aim to get the most out of live, optimism can blind us to the harsh realities of life. While hope is not a strategy for life, being prepared for it is. Getting covered for critical illness is one of the most important forms of insurance that you can get. In your 40s, it’s even more important to review your coverage and reassess its sufficiency.

Living a worry-free life

Not every illness can be prevented, but it definitely helps to have the necessary protection if anything untoward happens. That’s why Tiq 3 Plus Critical Illness can be useful in protecting your loved ones and you. With highly affordable options, coverage is offered in $1000 increments, starting from $30,000 all the way up to $300,000. This critical illness plan also has an additional 20% payout of the sum insured upon diagnosis of Diabetic Complications or Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (SRA), to help you deal with unexpected diseases of affluence.

As you take life by the horns, you can be secure in the knowledge that you’re protected, whatever happens. Discover the right insurance plan to protect your family and ensure peace of mind. Learn more about Tiq 3 Plus Critical Illness today.


Information is accurate as at 7 August 2023. This policy is underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. (Company Reg. No. 201331905K).

Age means the age at next birthday.

This policy is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact us or visit the Life Insurance Association (LIA) or SDIC websites ( or

You should seek advice from a financial adviser before deciding to purchase the policy. If you choose not to seek advice, you should consider if the policy is suitable for you.

As this product has no savings or investment feature, there is no cash value if the policy ends or if the policy is terminated prematurely.

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Tiq by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd.

A digital insurance channel that embraces changes to provide simple and convenient protection, Tiq’s mission is to make insurance transparent and accessible, inspiring you today to be prepared for life’s surprises and inevitabilities, while empowering you to “Live Unlimited” and take control of your tomorrow.

With a shared vision to change the paradigm of insurance and reshape customer experience, Etiqa created the strong foundation for Tiq. Because life never stops changing, Etiqa never stops progressing. A licensed life and general insurance company registered in the Republic of Singapore and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Etiqa is governed by the Insurance Act and has been providing insurance solutions since 1961. It is 69% owned by Maybank, Southeast Asia’s fourth largest banking group, with more than 22 million customers in 20 countries; and 31% owned by Ageas, an international insurance group with 33 million customers across 16 countries.

Discover the full range of Tiq online insurance plans here.



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