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Speaking about Elderly People

February 21, 2013

At the CEFR B2 level people may be asked to speak about The elderly / Elderly people.

Old people’s homes can be nursing homes or retirement homes. From wikipedia: “A nursing home provides a type of residential care. Residents include the elderly and younger adults with physical or mental disabilities”, “A retirement home is a multi-residence housing facility intended for senior citizens” (another way to call elderly people).  Now — retirement communities and retirement villages are further options (see below). Then — younger generations can take care of their elderly, too. Finally, some elderly people want to live in their own houses while they manage, and even when they don’t! There are personal care aides /aids/. Some more useful vocabulary: retirement benefit / (old-age) pension; pensioner(s).

About opening sentences connecting the issue of elderly people and the economic crisis, here is an example: “Due to the rising rates of unemployment and the consequent economic crisis, the elderly in Spain are actually providing food, shelter, or money for their younger relatives — children and even grandchildren!”

  • Article: Pro’s and Con’s of Living in a Retirement Village (Australian English: spelling like in the UK). Two interesting points they make: Security. Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to home invasion and if they do not feel safe in their home or neighbourhood, it can cause a great deal of stress. Social life. Retirement communities are full of like-minded people who generally want the same things out of life that you do. This can make for a busy social life, if that’s what you want!
  • Brochure, 2 pdf pages, great read /riid/ to pick up vocabulary and practice “timed scanning”) in Canadian English (UK spelling, too).
  • Video, 1 min., British English. Social care worker working with the elderly, 3 min.
  • Video Personal and Home Care Aides Job Description, 2min, US American English

grannywantedOnce I was given this topic in a Writing exam. We were asked to write about pros and cons of having elderly people in an elderly people’s home or in their children’s home. Examinees wrote an argumentative essay. I thought of something different: I wrote a news story about an elderly woman who had gone into hiding because her children wanted to take her to their home, or take her to an old people’s home, and she refused to accept any of those two options. She wanted to be left alone! I had lots of fun writing the piece, and examiners checking it too! 🙂 The headline was: GRANNY WANTED, and I quoted her like journalists do! (a good journalist would never disclose its sources!)

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