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Transitions in later life: a review of the challenges and opportunities for policy development

Guy Kerr Robertson (Director, based at Positive Ageing Associates, Bristol, UK)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 2 December 2014




The purpose of this paper is to outline an approach to understanding later life issues through the conceptual framework of “transitions”.


The paper draws on a wide ranging review of the literature, supported by two workshop sessions involving key stakeholders and experts in the field.


An analysis of efficacy or otherwise of the support available for people undergoing some of the major transitions is undertaken and some of the key issues arising from this are presented.

Research limitations/implications

The study derives its data largely from a review of published literature and therefore lacks the input from older people themselves.

Practical implications

The analysis provides guidance to policy makers and others interested in the later life agenda with well-researched recommendations for change.

Social implications

There are significant social implications in the recommendations and the opportunity for the experiences in later life to be framed in a transitions paradigm.


This is a very original piece of work as no other review has presented the conceptual framework of transitions alongside a practical analysis of the value of current support arrangements across the major transitions.



Kerr Robertson, G. (2014), "Transitions in later life: a review of the challenges and opportunities for policy development", Working with Older People, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 186-196.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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