A woman who cares full time for her husband who has Parkinson’s disease has shared a heartfelt message thanking the hospice.

With the help of East Lancashire Hospice, Ann Bolton, 76, has been caring for her husband Donald Bolton who also suffers with dementia.

The hospice has been running a Christmas campaign to thanks the people who donate, shop in the charity shops, or attend the events and Ann has decided to return the kind words thanking each person who supports the charity.

She said: “Fifteen months ago, Lancashire Council allocated me two hours support per week to go shopping.

“I am lucky, I now have someone who comes in every morning and evening to help me, but at weekends Lucy is not available.

“Don stopped walking in July, which means I can’t get him up in the morning, or get him to bed.

"The company who provides my respite care for two hours also provided additional support for Saturday and Sunday morning, but that left evenings.

“I didn’t know I could turn to East Lancashire Hospice. Like everyone else, I thought they only cared for the terminally ill. I didn’t know they could do anything for me.

“And we live in Langho - you don’t realise until you start to look that actually we could ask them for help.”

Donald’s Parkinson’s started ten years ago but has deteriorated now that dementia has set in.

Hospice At Home now come out two nights at the weekend from around 8pm to 10pm to give Ann a hand in getting her husband to bed.

Ann added: “I told them I didn’t need them that long, until they pointed out they weren’t there just for Donald, they were here for me too.

"That was when I realised how lucky I was. They wanted to take care of my well-being, not just Don’s.”

Speaking on their life and Donald’s fun quirks, Ann said: “Donald was a Chartered Engineer for British Gas, then Technical Director in India.

"We have been lucky – we have lived and worked in India, Abu Dhabi and throughout the UK.

“I always put brightly coloured socks on; he always wore such socks with his formal office wear as a secret sign of rebellion when he worked.”

The married couple have two sons - Mark lives nearby and he and with his wife and son drop by, supporting Ann’s care.

Their other son Philip comes up from South Manchester with his wife and young children to help when he can.

But Ann is, essentially, on her own caring for Don.

She added: “Without East Lancashire Hospice, I would not know who to turn to. I know they are there at the end of the telephone, and I can ask them for more support whenever I need it.”