Nursing home fees cost average of €896 a week
The weekly cost of private nursing home care is highest in Dublin at €1,100 and lowest in Donegal at €748, according to a new survey.
Nationally the average cost of a nursing home last year was €896 a week, compared to €557 in 2003.
The figures have emerged in the latest Nursing Homes Ireland survey report on private and voluntary facilities across the country.
The majority of nursing home residents now have their fees subsidised by the State through the means-tested Fair Deal scheme. The numbers paying for their care privately has fallen from 20pc in 2009 to 12pc.
Around one in two nursing home residents has dementia and 65pc are regarded as in high or maximum dependency.
The average annual food cost per resident is €2,487, up 13.4pc since 2009.
Commenting on the trends, the organisation's chief executive Tadhg Daly said the current rates by State negotiators for the Fair Deal scheme are based on "county averages". If this continues it could stymie the investment needed to cater for the ageing population.
In contrast, the average weekly cost of a HSE-run nursing home in Dublin is €1,594 and in Donegal €1,257.
While the number of private nursing homes has fallen by 4pc, down from 447 to 437 in the past five years, more are expanding so there are 1,752 additional beds.
The supply of beds has been highest in the south of the country, north Dublin, and in the northeast and Kildare regions.
Private nursing homes are also finding it difficult to recruit and retain nurses.
This is being made even more onerous due to the delay in nurses from abroad securing registration.
Staff costs account for 61pc of turnover and the national average wage is €27,130.
A Director of Nursing could earn an average of €63,854 and a Clinical Nurse Manager €45,155.
The report found that most nursing homes which have specialised facilities for people with dementia are located in the mid-west of the country -but these are least available in Wicklow and the west.
Nationally there is now one private nursing home bed for every 20.23 people aged 65 and over in the Republic of Ireland, according to the survey.
Social Care Minister Kathleen Lynch who launched the report, said the private nursing home sector is vital within the continuum of care available to our older population.
A review of the Fair Deal scheme will assess its long-term sustainability and examine broader issues such as how the supports for older people in nursing homes or living in the community are balanced, she added.