The lived experience of redesigning lifestyle post-retirement in the UK

Occup Ther Int. 2011 Mar;18(1):48-58. doi: 10.1002/oti.309. Epub 2010 Dec 9.


The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility of introducing and delivering an occupation-based lifestyle intervention, inspired by the US Lifestyle Redesign® into a UK context and to test requirements for a future robust clinical evaluation. The intervention involves a weekly facilitated group session to assist participants to engage with new and neglected occupations supplemented by an individual monthly meeting with one of the facilitators. A range of quantitative and qualitative methods were employed for the entire research programme. An in-depth interview was conducted with all participants before and after the 8-month programme and their progress was documented in reflective diaries maintained by the programme facilitators. The four participants whose narratives are described in this paper were experiencing eroded lifestyle as a result of diminished health combined with other challenges of later life. However, results of post-intervention interviews revealed that all had been able to engage with new and re-engage with neglected occupations despite continuing compromises. None of the participants reported experiencing improved physical health but all talked about the improvements to their confidence, self-efficacy and overall well-being which they attributed to the programme. Therefore, the intervention appears to warrants the investment necessary for population-based evaluation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retirement*
  • United Kingdom
  • Work