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Norwegians Visit New Age Friendly Homes in Athboy

Age Friendly Ireland | International

A group of 20 delegates from the Western Region of Norway visited Meath County Council on 26th April 2024. The purpose of their study trip to Ireland is to learn about age friendly developments.

Ireland is the first country in the world to have full affiliation to the World Health Organisation’s Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities, with an active Age Friendly Programme in each of the 31 Irish local authorities. This work is supported at national level with Meath County Council hosting the national shared service centre for Age Friendly Ireland.

Age Friendly strategies help to put plans and services in place to meet the needs of the growing ageing population, with a particular focus on age friendly environments. By 2051, it is estimated there will be 1.6 million people aged 65+ living in Ireland.

The Norwegian group’s visit was organised by the Centre for an Age-friendly Norway, on the recommendation of the County Governor of Vestland. Delegates comprised Heads of Services for Housing and Social services, Directors of Education and Housing, Senior Advisors, an Assistant County Doctor and representatives of the County Governor’s office.


Cathaoirleach Cllr Tommy Reilly welcomed the visitors to Meath County Council headquarters, Buvinda House, where they heard presentations about the Age Friendly Ireland shared service office, the Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme.  Van Dijk Architects described their design concept for the age friendly housing development in Athboy.  This was followed by a site visit to the Yellow Ford Age Friendly Housing development on the Kildalkey road, Athboy. This soon-to-be-completed development comprises 28 units, designed for older people. The units have Universal Design and Age Friendly features, including wetrooms and low maintenance landscaping. The development includes ground floor and single storey units. All units have own door access and access to private amenity space at ground floor level (including apartments). Cunninghams Contractors facilitated the site visit and answered questions on the development.

The site is located on the Kildalkey Road, Athboy, centrally located to the town. Age Friendly considerations for the site included site location and proximity to amenities and services in Athboy town; places to sit and have a rest, spaces designed to promote activity and social interaction, and age friendly surface and footpaths.


Athboy Town has undergone public realm works recently to upgrade footpaths, seating and the park, and it completed an Age Friendly Town process in 2019.

Lars-Marius Ulfrstad, one of the visiting Norwegian delegation said ‘With the increase in our older demographic, we must build affordable, innovative and accessible homes for our older generation, with wrap around services.  We are delighted to be here in Ireland visiting and learning about new housing solutions with social spaces.’

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