– a retirement to look forward to

People are living longer than ever and keeping healthier than before. It is therefore a paradox than many people start to feel lonely and useless when they retire.

Helgetun is a pilot project – or rather a social experiment – which seeks to empower its residents to stay mentally and physically healthier, use less medication and keep living at home for longer than average. Our motto is quite simply: Getting old should be fun!

Helgetun enjoys an idyllic setting in Sædalen outside Bergen. It is home to 39 residents in 31 newly built flats, all of them designed to lifetime living standards and boasting a balcony or outside space. There is also a community centre, allotment and farm. The first tenants arrived in 2019, and there is now a long waiting list. Helgetun is aimed at senior citizens looking to live amongst like-minded people and perhaps wanting to get involved in community activities.

Helgetun is designed for active, sociable and safe living with plenty of scope for community activities and outdoor pursuits. It has a bridge club, Monday dinner club, rambling group, dance class and choir. Its proximity to the farm at Helgeseter provides good opportunities for getting busy in the herb garden or on the allotment. Residents are also able to get involved in the Eplekarten Steiner kindergarten and at nearby Helgeseter.

Read more about Helgetun (Norwegian)

Helgetun is The GC Rieber Foundations’s biggest ever project. We want to inspire future residential projects for seniors. Professor Bettina Husebø at the Centre for Elderly and Nursing Home Medicine is affiliated to the project. She is looking to conduct research into Helgetun residents over a period of several years. She believes that the sense of community and active living encouraged by the living arrangements can help reduce the risk of dementia, amongst other things.