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The Age Friendly Ireland Shared Service has made significant progress over recent years in advancing the issue of creating an age friendly Ireland. This vision is emphasised in the 2020 Programme for Government: Our Shared Future. Following the establishment of age friendly alliances in every local authority, local strategies have been developed that are making a real difference to the lives of increasing numbers of older people. The findings assist relevant staff in improving the lives of older people at no or minimal additional cost through deliberate decision making at design stage. Age Friendly Ireland is offering the Housing and Public Realm training to relevant staff in various sectors including local government whose actions and decisions shape accommodation and public realm provision.

This National Training Programme includes new and existing material relating to the area of Age Friendly Housing. Drawing on universal design principles and referring to Part M requirements it will cover evidence and statistics on research on age friendly housing, models of excellence (existing and in development) and technical application.

Among the material referred to will be the Universal Design Guidelines for Homes in Ireland (Centre for Excellence in Universal Design), recent policy developments in housing provision, a multitude of useful resources to support practical applicational and delivery of age friendly housing. The material will also draw on current thinking and refers to the common principles between provision for older people and people with disabilities. There will be a focus on the relationships between Local Authorities, Approved Housing Bodies and the private sector and how this might be further leveraged.

The second section of the training will focus on the public realm. Age friendly practices around public seating, toilets, parking, pedestrian crossings, parks and green areas, location of bins and security are covered. It will discuss the findings of walkability surveys and research across Ireland and summarise feedback from thousands of older people about the positive and not so positive elements of their everyday environment.