When J was first invited to join the Countrymen’s Club he said he didn’t need it. He was nearing 90 years old, living in a caravan and caring for his animals. Despite some illnesses that had caused Social Services to try to re-house him he had refused. He had no friends or family and his only contact with people was a few hours of help a week on his farm. The Wayfinder persisted and J came to the Countrymen’s Club to visit but not because he felt he needed it. Whilst he clearly enjoyed the food on his first few visits he found the interaction with the other men difficult. He felt the need prove he didn’t need to be there. At times his behaviour became very challenging. If he perceived someone as less intelligent or able than him he could be extremely dismissive and if the group wanted to do an activity that he perceived to be a “care activity” such as horticulture he refused to do it.
But J found something in the Club he liked – he has kept coming and over time he has become more confident in the group and so he is more accepting of others and his behaviour is much more socially acceptable within the group. He has made friends – when he needed help he asked a Countryman, when another Countryman was planning a trip they called J to see if he wanted to join them. When he was poorly it was another Countryman who has taken to calling J weekly just for a chat.
A year has passed and now J openly admit he likes coming to the Club and that he enjoys the companionship of being in a Club where he feels comfortable and not judged. He now trusts the workers and is talking to them about his need for financial help. Last year he had his first Christmas lunch in ten years – it was the Countrymen’s Christmas lunch. He says his last birthday, which was spent at the farm, was the best he can remember.