The Citizens’ Assembly is meeting this weekend to discuss the second topic on its agenda - the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population.
The gathering will hear from older people in care this weekend.
Justin Moran of Age Action Ireland said: "The most recent census figures indicate there are almost 650,000 people over the age of 65 in Ireland. That number is going to increase.
"We're already struggling to provide a fair pension and enough supports to enable people to stay at home. If we can’t meet that demand today, where are we going to be in 20 years time?
"The Assembly is a really important opportunity to focus on what we have to do to plan for the growing number of older people in Ireland."
Three further sessions will consider this second topic on the issues affecting our older citizens, on the weekends of July, September and November.
The resolution approving establishment of the Assembly outlines five topics to be considered by the Assembly, with the first being the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution - the abortion issue.
The other three issues are:
Meanwhile, social and health researchers and workers have been advised to use terms like 'older people' rather than 'the elderly', 'the aged' or 'seniors' when referring or writing about people in their late 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s.
The Irish Gerontological Society advised its 350 members about the best choice of terms to describe 'older people' when writing research reports or articles.
The IGS says their central aim is to highlight the contribution which older people make to modern day society in this country.