Transitions in Later Life – creating successful early stage interventions

Old people at a yoga class
Transitions in Later Life - creating successful early stage interventions

A workshop was held at our offices last week, which gathered together a range of professionals and practitioners who are working across three therapeutic disciplines – Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The workshop was used to discuss our recent Transitions in Later Life consultation findings as well as innovative approaches to building resilience in later life.

The Foundation’s UK Branch Director, Andrew Barnett, spoke about the Foundation’s role in early stage interventions in this area that would have a long-term impact and its role in providing support as a critical friend and in using its networks in the UK and in Europe to progress initiatives in wellbeing. He identified the key components of successful early stage interventions as bold ambition, collaborative working, sharing of expertise, experience and knowledge, and a clear understanding of the issues around supply and demand of any intervention.

Workshop participants from across the UK and Ireland shared their experience and research about ‘what works’ across different therapeutic disciplines and how these approaches could contribute to building resilience in later life. While the participants came from different backgrounds and from different starting points, there was a consensus on the key criteria for building successful initiatives in early stage interventions.

The criteria included:


  • Flexibility… recognising/being responsive to diversity
  • Person-led
  • Outcome focused
  • Social/peer elements
  • Preventative but … can react to crisis
  • Relevant/targeted content
  • Delivery/providers… supply AND demand
  • Promotion of the initiative


We will use these criteria to inform our work across Transitions in Later Life later this month when we will be conducting a focus group in Stoke-on-Trent with people aged 55 to 75 who have undergone pre-retirement preparedness. They will be discussing their transition experience and will help inform our thinking in this area. Stay tuned for coverage of this event and further updates about our strand of work and next steps via our online blog.