As I said, I've set a few things in motion.
I'm not State Pension age for more than 3 years yet - I do have a small monthly private pension but no other income. Although I
am feel ancient and decrepit, I'm not actually disabled - I can walk (just about!), wash and dress myself, cook and look after myself, so I really don't see that I'd be eligible for any benefits. However, I've discovered that Citizens Advice hold an advice session fortnightly in the next village along, so I should be able to pop in there and speak to them soon (I've just missed this week's session).
And I've taken the big step of registering on the Council social housing list - well, I've started the application, it's numerous online pages long. Apparently, depending on what type of housing and whereabouts one is looking for, there could be currently up to a 5-year waiting list - although medical requirements might make it shorter. From what I've seen so far, Council housing rents would certainly be cheaper than we are paying now.....although our private tenant rent here, in this very rural area with no amenities, is much less than we would be paying for a house in town - private rents locally have gone through the roof, due to the big influx of Hinkley Point C power station workers. Whether I'd be able to get a Council place on my own, I have no idea - but nothing ventured, nothing gained. And even if we had to get a place together, as long as it was near facilities and on a bus route I'd be fine, it would make life so much easier for me.
I'm feeling a bit better now I'm taking some action. I've decided husband isn't getting away with doing next to nothing from now on, and if I want something doing, I will make it clear I want it done now, with no arguments or grumbles. We've had a broken curtain rail in the hall for over a year, unbelievably - husband broke it by dropping something on it as he was coming downstairs in summer last year, it's been hanging off at one end ever since, despite my asking him regularly to either fix it or buy a new rail. Well, the other day he had to take me to town as I needed a few things in Wilko, whilst in there I told him to go and buy a new rail - he did. And he actually put it up too, without any prompting. I've also made sure he got done the 3 little jobs I wanted him to do before we went away last week.
Thank you again for all the supportive comments, helpful suggestions, empathy and care, it means a lot.