The Social Democrats want to develop designated housing for older people around the country if in government after the general election.

The party launched its policy on older people at a council-owned old persons' facility in Glasnevin, Dublin, which it said offered a blueprint for such a model.

The estate includes purpose-built homes and an on-site day centre, which offers a range of services including meals, activities and personal supports.

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall said such developments had a number of benefits, as it allowed people to downsize from larger homes while staying independent and in the community.

"This frees up housing for other families," she said "while relieving pressure on the health system by keeping older people out of hospitals."

Ms Shortall said elderly-focused housing would form part of the 100,000 social and affordable homes that the party planned to build if in government.

"You need a range of different types of houses on public land," she said. "So we're saying affordable housing, cost-rental, social housing and older people's housing. You need to cater for the full spectrum."

The party's candidate for Dublin Central, Gary Gannon, said the housing crisis was "multifaceted" and many older people would like to move to smaller accommodation if such supports were available.

The party also said the implementation of the Sláintecare plan would benefit older people as it would improve access to the healthcare system.

It has also called for increased investment in home care packages and step down facilities in order to end home care waiting lists, while it also wants the National Dementia Strategy to be implemented.

The Social Democrats also wants to invest in old age psychiatry and reduce prescription charges for patients.

Ms Shortall is due to represent the Social Democrats in an RTÉ Prime Time debate tomorrow evening.

"We're really competitive in seven or eight constituencies and I'm really looking forward to debating with the other party leaders tomorrow evening," she said.