A new scheme to assist those who were abused in residential institutions is aimed at providing help to the survivors as they face into old age.

Caranua currently has €74m of the €110m fund committed by the religious congregations who ran the institutions to draw on.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Caranua Chief Executive Mary Higgins said the fund was there to meet the current needs of survivors, focusing on health, education and housing.

It will not be a cash payment.

Only those who received awards either through the Residential Institutions Redress Board or the courts are entitled to apply for help.

Ms Higgins said the scheme was in recognition of the fact that cash may not have addressed many of their issues.

She said: "Many of the people who spent time in residential institutions were neglected, were badly nourished, were poorly educated, and a result of that, they have spent a life of severe disadvantage.

"So this is in recognition of the fact that they are now in their older age and is a way of trying to focus on them and provide a service that is dedicated to them and to meeting their needs as they are now."

The amount of money they received from the redress board or the courts will not be taken into account.

"This is really about trying to provide something that is for them. Even though people got money ... it's where they are now, that’s what we're interested in," Ms Higgins said.

Families of deceased abuse victims will not be entitled to apply.