Calls are being made for the Government to put a strategy in place to deal with our ageing population.
Nursing Homes Ireland is warning there's a critical shortfall in long term residential beds - and the Government needs to act.
It says over 4,000 new nursing home beds are required by 2016.
There are currently more than 27,000 elderly people in nursing homes.
CEO of Nursing Homes Ireland Tadhg Daly says that figure is set to increase dramatically over the next decade.
"That's based on the CSO statistics and also some research by the ESRI," he said.
"What they're predicting is that given the aging demographic, and, whole sometimes we talk about over-65s, the real issue for nursing home care is those over 80 and over 85, that is the 'older old', and people with more complex medical needs.
"So what it means is that, based on those figures, there will be a significant increase in demand for the care of older persons generally, but specifically in terms of residential care."