The future was looking so bleak for both of us until we found the Autochair Olympian. Since it was installed we’ve got our lives back. We can leave the house with confidence – we’re really, truly living again.” Lynn Gregory, Sittingbourne

John and Lynn Gregory were an active couple living life to the full until just 12 months ago. Grandparents to seven children, at 64, John was still working as a security engineer and Lynn (then 63) was caring for her elderly mother with dementia.

“Life has a strange way of taking you by surprise and presenting you with a situation you never saw coming,” explains Lynn. “My mum’s condition deteriorated and she was moved into a care home which meant I ‘retired’ from the care role I’d had for 17 years. In the months that followed, the Rheumatoid Arthritis I’d been living with deteriorated very quickly. I went from needing sticks to walk to needing a rotator, to a scooter and now to a power chair to travel anywhere outside of the home.”

In the same year, John, who suffers with a bad back, was diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease. “John had previously been able to dismantle my power chair to get it into the car for any trips out,” Lynn continued. “However as his back got worse this became more and more difficult. With his Alzheimers diagnosis and my struggle to walk, we were becoming increasingly confined to our home.”

Within months, John and Lynn found they left the house only for medical appointments and food shopping. “Even shopping became an ordeal so I started ordering deliveries online,” Lynn explained. “We were just existing at home and not seeing life outside of our four walls.”

Lynn saw an advert for Autochair and suddenly saw a solution to their life of confinement. “Autochair came to us to assess our situation, took photographs and gave a thorough demonstration. Within two weeks, our hoist was fitted.

“We chose the Autochair 100kg 4-way Olympian hoist because it’s fully powered and takes more weight – I might need a heavier chair in the future so we wanted something that would last. It easily lifts my Rascal P321 into our Ford C Max. The fitter was wonderful – methodical, tidy, polite and it was all done on our own drive, so on this occasion we didn’t have to – or need to – leave the house!”

Lynn added: “The Autochair Olympian has been transformational. It has changed our lives completely and we are both so happy. We go out at some point of every day and my husband doesn’t have to do any assembly, dis-assembly or lifting. I can even go out on my own because the Olympian is so easy for one person to use.

“I know now that the Autochair business was created by a man who’d personally experienced disability and created the first hoist in the 1970s to get his own wheelchair into his car. His insight and ability all those years ago is still having a profound impact on people’s lives today. We couldn’t be happier and I only wish I’d known earlier that there would be such an easy Autochair alternative to a life lived as a prisoner in our own home.”

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