Following the publication of a new report from Bank of Ireland which predicted a shortfall of over 7300 residential care beds for older people by 2026 I strongly believe that we must increase capacity across the country in nursing homes as families continue to struggle with an ageing population.

These figures show that the number of people aged 65 years or older will increase to over one million and while every effort must be made to keep people in their homes, living independently, for many moving into a nursing home will be a must – necessitating the need for an increase for the number of beds in residential care facilities.

The Fair Deal Scheme will only benefit families if there are enough beds available and we owe it to the elderly and those living with dementia to show compassion when it’s most needed.