IELTS Writing Task 2 | Should grandparents live with their children and grandchildren?

Task 2 | Essay 5
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Some commentators feel that grandparents should live together with their children and grandchildren, while others say that elderly people should be encouraged to live independently.
  • Consider the possible arguments on both sides of this debate, and reach your own conclusion.
How to answer this essay?
  • Introduction:
  • Traditional vs affordable debate for living with family.
  • Traditional:
  • More emotional support, e.g. in bereavement.
  • More security (against crime and accidents)
  • Cheaper, may increase quality of life for living independently.
  • Affordable:
  • Increases self-reliance and independence, self-esteem.
  • Family may not have space or time.
  • Allows grandparents to have families visiting them, enjoyment.
  • Conclusion:
  • Better to live alone, provided that health/finances allow this.
Model Answer | Marked as Band 8
Cohesive connecting words that improve coherence in writing . Useful less common words that boost fluency in writing .
  • The issue of whether grandparents should live with their extended families is partly a question of the traditions in different cultures or nationalities. However, the question of affordability also plays an increasing part, and so this debate is rather complex.
  • On the one hand, those who support the idea of grandparents living with their children point to the higher level of emotional support which all family members may receive in such situations, for example in times of crisis such as bereavement. Furthermore, it is also true that personal security may be increased, offering protection against such problems as accidents or even robbery. Finally, it seems that extended family life will also be considerably less costly, for instance with lower food and utility bills, meaning that enjoyment of life may be higher.
  • By contrast, supporters of grandparents living independently often state that elderly people should be encouraged to be as self-reliant as possible, as this boosts their self-esteem and may guard against mental decline in old age. They also say, with some merit, that many younger families these days do not have the housing space, or indeed the spare time, which is necessary to care properly for older members. As a last point, it is also true that many grandparents prefer to see their grandchildren on a less frequent basis (as opposed to every day), making these visits more special and cherished for all concerned.
  • Overall, it appears to me that the stronger argument is in favour of grandparents living independently, with all the advantages of self-reliance and separate space. This is provided that their health and finances allow them to continue living separately, without risk or the fear of isolation.
280 words
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