Dealing with finance, ways of building and maintaining friendships, interests and pastimes and spirituality are just some of the ideas for sessions contained under the broader theme of personal circumstances.
This section very much recognises the challenges that older people face as a consequence of changing circumstances. These can vary from the difficulties of living on reduced income as a result of the cessation of paid work through to loneliness and social isolation following bereavement. Many of the suggested activities are incredibly practical from ways to live on a reduced budget through to ideas relating to ways of building and maintaining friendships. The exception to this is the spirituality theme, which is more philosophical and reflective, inviting participants to consider how personal values, and beliefs influence the activities they take part in.
Lifestyle Matters does not directly address the issue of bereavement. At different points during the programme group members may speak of losses that they have experienced, gaining support from the group as a consequence. Where appropriate, individual sessions can be used to signpost participants to further resources. As a facilitator it is important to be aware that discussions concerned with bereavement may arise. If this happens, it is essential to provide participants with the time and space to express their feelings.