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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of retirements homes/communities from the real IELTS general training exam.

This was a tricky one so it is a little on the long side – about 320 words – aim for about 275 in your own writing.

It’s easier to write longer and harder to write shorter!

Please consider supporting me on Patreon.com/howtodoielts to receive my full, exclusive IELTS Ebooks – you can even sign up for private live lessons with me! My subscription online courses are also available here.

Dave

IELTS Essay: Retirement Homes/Communities

Nowadays some older people choose to live in retirement communities and centers with other people, rather than living with their adult children.

Is this a positive or negative development?

It is becoming increasingly common for senior citizens to retire to assisted care facilities instead of remaining at home with their children. In my opinion, though these institutions often have a reputation for abuse, it is a positive trend as it liberates younger generations.

Detractors of such communities highlight notable instances of abuse. These are detailed in frequent, highly publicized, exposes from reputable news organizations on a regular basis. Many of these incidents become criminal or civil cases and the instances of mistreatment are memorably cruel. Elderly people have been known to be beaten, demeaned and neglected in terms of their basic sanitary needs. These vulnerable individuals often lack the ability to defend themselves or voice the abuse to visiting family. However, considering the total number of seniors in assisted care facilities, abuse is rare and likely to decrease in the future as technology allows for closer monitoring of employees.

Overall, I believe retirement communities to be a positive as they are liberating for families. This applies to the seniors themselves as, though they may be restricted from leaving the premises, they can interact with their peers and form meaningful, new bonds. The greatest benefits, however, are for the family unit as a whole. Families are rarely equipped with the medical training or financial resources to support aging individuals. For instance, it is a nearly impossible task for a family where both mother and father work to look after an ailing parent as well as their own young children. They are likely to lack some combination of energy, will, means, and time. By placing their parents in an elderly home, they will have more time to invest in raising their own children and advancing at work, which will itself increase the standard of living for all family members.

In conclusion, the risk of possible abuse at retirement homes does not overshadow the benefits generally for families. This is a sensitive topic but each individual must decide what is in their own best interests.

Analysis

1. It is becoming increasingly common for senior citizens to retire to assisted care facilities instead of remaining at home with their children. 2. In my opinion, though these institutions often have a reputation for abuse, it is a positive trend as it liberates younger generations.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Detractors of such communities highlight notable instances of abuse. 2. These are detailed in frequent, highly publicized, exposés from reputable news organizations on a regular basis. 3. Many of these incidents become criminal or civil cases and the instances of mistreatment are memorably cruel. 4. Elderly people have been known to be beaten, demeaned and neglected in terms of their basic sanitary needs. 5. These vulnerable individuals often lack the ability to defend themselves or voice the abuse to visiting family. 6. However, considering the total number of seniors in assisted care facilities, abuse is rare and likely to decrease in the future as technology allows for closer monitoring of employees.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Add more deatil.
  6. I end here by switching to the other side – the side I agree with.

1. Overall, I believe retirement communities to be a positive as they are liberating for families. 2. This applies to the seniors themselves as, though they may be restricted from leaving the premises, they can interact with their peers and form meaningful, new bonds. 3. The greatest benefits, however, are for the family unit as a whole. 4. Families are rarely equipped with the medical training or financial resources to support aging individuals. 5. For instance, it is a nearly impossible task for a family where both mother and father work to look after an ailing parent as well as their own young children. 6. They are likely to lack some combination of energy, will, means, and time. 7. By placing their parents in an elderly home, they will have more time to invest in raising their own children and advancing at work, which will itself increase the standard of living for all family members.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Develop the example fully.
  6. Vary long and short sentences.
  7. Try not to write this many sentences…

1. In conclusion, the risk of possible abuse at retirement homes does not overshadow the benefits generally for families. 2. This is a sensitive topic but each individual must decide what is in their own best interests.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

It is becoming increasingly common for senior citizens to retire to assisted care facilities instead of remaining at home with their children. In my opinion, though these institutions often have a reputation for abuse, it is a positive trend as it liberates younger generations.

Detractors of such communities highlight notable instances of abuse. These are detailed in frequent, highly publicized, exposés from reputable news organizations on a regular basis. Many of these incidents become criminal or civil cases and the instances of mistreatment are memorably cruel. Elderly people have been known to be beaten, demeaned and neglected in terms of their basic sanitary needs. These vulnerable individuals often lack the ability to defend themselves or voice the abuse to visiting family. However, considering the total number of seniors in assisted care facilities, abuse is rare and likely to decrease in the future as technology allows for closer monitoring of employees.

Overall, I believe retirement communities to be a positive as they are liberating for families. This applies to the seniors themselves as, though they may be restricted from leaving the premises, they can interact with their peers and form meaningful, new bonds. The greatest benefits, however, are for the family unit as a whole. Families are rarely equipped with the medical training or financial resources to support aging individuals. For instance, it is a nearly impossible task for a family where both mother and father work to look after an ailing parent as well as their own young children. They are likely to lack some combination of energy, will, means, and time. By placing their parents in an elderly home, they will have more time to invest in raising their own children and advancing at work, which will itself increase the standard of living for all family members.

In conclusion, the risk of possible abuse at retirement homes does not overshadow the benefits generally for families. This is a sensitive topic but each individual must decide what is in their own best interests.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

increasingly common happens more and more

senior citizens older people

retire to stop working and go live

assisted care facilities places where they look after old people

instead of rather than

remaining left over

institutions places

reputation what is heard about these places

abuse being hurt

trend pattern

liberates younger generations frees the children

detractors critics

highlight notable instances focus on big examples

exposés reports

reputable news organizations well-known media companies

on a regular basis often

incidents examples

criminal or civil cases people put on trial or sued for money

instances examples

mistreatment treated badly

memorably cruel sensationally bad

have been known to be have a reputation for

beaten hit

demeaned insulted

neglected not cared for

in terms of concerning

their basic sanitary needs how clean they are

vulnerable weak

lack don’t have

defend protect

voice ability to talk

visiting family family coming to see them

considering given

total number complete figures for

rare not common

in the future later

technology computers, internet, cameras, etc.

closer monitoring watching closely

applies also is true for

restricted kept to

premises grounds

interact talk to

peers people around their own age

form meaningful create important

new bonds new friendships

benefits advantages

family unit as a whole family altogether

rarely equipped not often have

medical training experience as doctors

financial resources money

aging getting older

nearly impossible almost can’t happen

ailing parent sick mother and father

as well as and

some combination of an amount of

energy initiative

will desire

means money

time free time

placing putting

invest contribute

raising helping grow up

advancing getting better

standard of living quality of life

risk threat

retirement homes retirement communities

overshadow stronger than

sensitive topic hard to talk about

decide choose

own best interests for their own good

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ˈkɒmən 
ˈsiːnjə ˈsɪtɪznz 
rɪˈtaɪə tuː 
əˈsɪstɪd keə fəˈsɪlɪtiz 
ɪnˈstɛd ɒv 
rɪˈmeɪnɪŋ 
ˌɪnstɪˈtjuːʃənz 
ˌrɛpju(ː)ˈteɪʃən 
əˈbjuːs
trɛnd 
ˈlɪbəreɪts ˈjʌŋə ˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃənz
dɪˈtræktəz
ˈhaɪˌlaɪt ˈnəʊtəbl ˈɪnstənsɪz 
ɪksˈpəʊzɪz 
ˈrɛpjʊtəbl njuːz ˌɔːgənaɪˈzeɪʃənz 
ɒn ə ˈrɛgjʊlə ˈbeɪsɪs
ˈɪnsɪdənts 
ˈkrɪmɪnl ɔː ˈsɪvl ˈkeɪsɪz 
ˈɪnstənsɪz 
mɪsˈtriːtmənt 
ˈmɛmərəbli krʊəl
hæv biːn nəʊn tuː biː 
ˈbiːtn
dɪˈmiːnd 
nɪˈglɛktɪd 
ɪn tɜːmz ɒv 
ðeə ˈbeɪsɪk ˈsænɪtəri niːdz.
ˈvʌlnərəbl 
læk 
dɪˈfɛnd 
vɔɪs 
ˈvɪzɪtɪŋ ˈfæmɪli
kənˈsɪdərɪŋ 
ˈtəʊtl ˈnʌmbə 
reə 
ɪn ðə ˈfjuːʧə 
tɛkˈnɒləʤi 
ˈkləʊsə ˈmɒnɪtərɪŋ
əˈplaɪz 
rɪsˈtrɪktɪd 
ˈprɛmɪsɪz
ˌɪntərˈækt 
pɪəz 
fɔːm ˈmiːnɪŋfʊl
njuː bɒndz
ˈbɛnɪfɪts
ˈfæmɪli ˈjuːnɪt æz ə həʊl
ˈreəli ɪˈkwɪpt 
ˈmɛdɪkəl ˈtreɪnɪŋ 
faɪˈnænʃəl rɪˈsɔːsɪz 
ˈeɪʤɪŋ 
ˈnɪəli ɪmˈpɒsəbl 
ˈeɪlɪŋ ˈpeərənt 
æz wɛl æz 
sʌm ˌkɒmbɪˈneɪʃən ɒv 
ˈɛnəʤi
wɪl,
miːnz,
taɪm.
ˈpleɪsɪŋ 
ɪnˈvɛst 
ˈreɪzɪŋ 
ədˈvɑːnsɪŋ 
ˈstændəd ɒv ˈlɪvɪŋ
rɪsk 
rɪˈtaɪəmənt həʊmz 
ˌəʊvəˈʃædəʊ 
ˈsɛnsɪtɪv ˈtɒpɪk 
dɪˈsaɪd 
əʊn bɛst ˈɪntrɪsts

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

It is becoming i__________________n for s_________________s to r____________o a_____________________s i_____________f r___________g at home with their children. In my opinion, though these i_______________s often have a r___________n for a_______e, it is a positive t______d as it l_____________________s.

D____________s of such communities h_______________________s of abuse. These are detailed in frequent, highly publicized, e_________s from r___________________________s o_________________s. Many of these i____________s become c___________________s and the i___________s of m_____________t are m_______________l. E________________e h________________________e b_________n, d__________________d and n_____________d i_________________f t_______________________s. These v____________e individuals often l_____k the ability to d___________d themselves or v_______e the abuse to v_____________y. However, c______________g the t_____________r of seniors in assisted care facilities, abuse is r____e and likely to decrease i________________e as t______________y allows for c_______________g of employees.

Overall, I believe retirement communities to be a positive as they are liberating for families. This a________s to the seniors themselves as, though they may be r___________d from leaving the p___________s, they can i__________t with their p________s and f____________________l, n__________s. The greatest b___________s, however, are for the f_______________________e. Families are r_________________d with the m_________________g or f___________________s to support a______g individuals. For instance, it is a n_________________e task for a family where both mother and father work to look after an a________________t a__________s their own young children. They are likely to lack s_____________________f e_______y, w____l, m_______s, and t_____e. By p_________g their parents in an elderly home, they will have more time to i_______t in r_______g their own children and a______________g at work, which will itself increase the s_______________g for all family members.

In conclusion, the r____k of possible abuse at r__________________s does not o______________w the benefits generally for families. This is a s__________________c but each individual must d_____e what is in their o____________________s.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Age

  1. Do you like your current age?
  2. What was the biggest decision you made in your life?
  3. At what age are people happiest?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Nowadays more and more older people who need employment have to compete with younger people for the same jobs.

What problems does this cause?

What are the solutions?


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