IELTS Sample Essay: Who Should Pay for Nursing Homes


Here is one more sample essay for the topic taken from IELTS website

Essay topic is:

In Britain, when someone gets old they often go to live in a home with other old people where there are nurses to look after them. Sometimes the government has to pay for this care. Who do you think should pay for this care, the government or the family?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

While reading essays of several students, I discovered that most of them went off-topic. Some students wrote about poor situation in Russia, others wrote that the elderly need to pay for nursing care out of their savings or retirement benefits. If you look closely at the topic, you will see that:

1) They don’t ask you about Russia or even “your country”

2) They don’t ask you anything about savings or retirement benefits.

You just need to give your opinion what’s better: to make the government pay for the elderly or their families. Here, a balanced opinion is also possible.

Here is the essay I wrote:

As British population is aging, more and more elderly people need to resort to nursing homes services. There is a public controversy over the issue whether it is the government’s responsibility to finance such care or the families ought to pay for this. From my point of view, a balanced approach is required depending on personal circumstances of each household.

On the one hand, there are two main cases when it would be more reasonable for the government to cover the expenses for British retirees. First, if working-age adults have low income, they simply cannot afford to pay for nursing home treatment of their parents. Second, families with two or more children have primary responsibility to provide their offspring with appropriate education. Were they to pay the bills for retirement homes, they would not be able to save enough money for college fees of their children.

On the other hand, some British families are wealthy enough to support their older members. According to statistics, at least, 10% of British population belong to high-income families and would be able not only to settle a standard retirement home bill, but also to pay for individual care at a private nursing home. Such facilities provide luxury accommodation, 24-hour medical surveillance and even gourmet nutrition. This way, not only would the financial burden be partly taken off the government, but also the families would feel deeply satisfied that their elderly relatives are being cared after.

In conclusion, from my perspective, a case-by-case approach ought to be adopted regarding nursing homes. For underprivileged families, it would be necessary to introduce government subsidies, while wealthy families need to be given a possibility to choose whether they pay for public or private nursing facilities.