People may have to travel long distances to receive nursing home care due to several closures, the head of Nursing Homes Ireland has warned.
The organisation wants Government action to prevent more nursing homes from closing down.
In the past 12 months, 18 private and voluntary nursing homes across the country have closed their doors.
Nursing Homes Ireland CEO Tadhg Daly told Breakfast Briefing the closures are leading to a lack of options for older people.
"The numbers of nursing homes that have closed, they've closed in many communities where now those communities don't have a nursing home," he said.
"Recently HIQA warned that what you're going to have is people travelling 30, 40, 50 miles to get nursing home care.
"The whole concept of Sláintecare, and indeed nursing homes, is care in the local community - but many communities now are bereft of those services because of the lack of a vision, lack of a policy and the lack of funding to meet that ageing demographic."
'We're not planning for that'
Mr Daly said more action needs to be taken.
"The reality is they're being forced to close because of the deficit in funding under Fair Deal [scheme]", he said.
"Unless we take action in the forthcoming budget, our concern is we'll see further closures."
Mr Daly said recent changes suggested around constituency boundaries need to happen with health and social care.
"We need to replicate that to ensure we have sufficient health and social care provision to meet that ageing demographic," he said.
"We know people are living longer; that's a very, very positive thing but unfortunately as a country we're not planning for that demographic across a whole range of services.
"In our case in terms of care for our older population, whether it is home care and in our case nursing home care.
"There's no surprises coming, and we need to plan for that, we need to resource that in terms of funding and in terms of the workforce."
Nursing Homes Ireland is calling for an additional €191 million in the Fair Deal budget for 2024 at its annual conference in Kilkenny on Thursday.