Chihiro Masui visited us in January and June this year. She wanted to see how a club was for elderly men was run, as they have a lot of elderly men in Japan, but no such clubs. She created the slide above and said: ”I wrote my dissertation based on what I learned from the Geezers. The Geezers is type 2 activity in this diagram.” She sent us this really nice piece below, specially for the OurBow website.
Nice to meet you! I am Chihiro Masui, a Japanese public servant who is studying at a university in London. Japanese population is ageing rapidly…and there are many older men who cannot find what to do after retirement.
To acquire a clue to solve this issue, I visited the Geezers twice in this year. Everyone in the club welcomed me warmly and I could listen to the discussion of the members about men’s health problems, TV licenses, and a trip to seaside. I saw every single member of the club really enjoy interacting with others. They were like playing tennis by a ball made of words, actively and happily.
After going back to home, I thought about why the men seemed so active and happy. Then, I discovered that this is because the members can do whatever they want by supporting and encouraging each other. In other words, they feel autonomous (having decision-making power) through joining in the Geezers and it gives them confidence and pure joy. Usually, such autonomy decreases as a person ages and mental and physical ability of the person declines. However, the members of the club reinforce their individual autonomy by integrating it into group autonomy. I think that’s the core of the intriguing charm of the Geezers.
I hope when I go back to Japan, I can utilise this knowledge and create ‘Geezers Japanese branch’ in Japan! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!