TOEFL writing: Should elderly people be looked after by their families or in old homes?


I would really appreciate if someone could rate this essay.

Q: Many elderly people are no longer looked after by their families but are put in care homes or nursing homes. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this trend and give your opinion.

In the past, families took care of their elderly members in their own homes; however, today, it is becoming more common for elderly people to go to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. There are several advantages and disadvantages to this trend. However, in my opinion, it is better for elderly people to be cared for in the home by their families when possible. There are several reasons why I take this stance.

Long-term care facilities can help senior citizens live comfortably. Often elderly people need specialized care that their family members are unable to provide and afford. In this case, it is better for them to go to long-term care facilities. For example, if a senior citizen has memory problems and is a danger to themselves while alone, they may need to live at a nursing home where they can be attended to constantly. Nursing homes not only provide nursing care for their residents, but they also offer extracurricular activities and a customized meal plan for each individual, helping them stay healthier longer. This care and the availability to activities and food would be difficult in the home of a family member.

On the other hand, staying in a nursing home has many disadvantages. One common complaint of care facilities is the high resident to staff ratio. My grandmother lived at a rehabilitation center when she was unable to walk due to hip surgery. When she needed to use the restroom it could take a staff member up to thirty minutes to attend to her call. When senior citizens are cared for in their homes, the care they receive comes from someone who truly loves and cares for them. Additionally, they will know the patient better than aides at a care-facility. An elderly person also feels better when he is living in his own home. He can constantly interact with his family, and that joy can keep an elderly person active and healthy. In stark contrast, in an old-home an elderly person is likely to feel homesick. He will miss his family tremendously and this will deteriorate his health further.

To conclude, while elderly people staying in nursing homes has become the new trend, this is not an easy issue. There are many advantages and disadvantages on both sides. For many, staying at home may be a better option. What choice is correct for each individual will depend on their needs, their family’s abilities and resources, and their personality. However, considering the numerous disadvantages surrounding old-homes I feel it is better for senior citizens to live with their families as the love and care of their families will keep them healthy and happy.

TOEFL writing practice: Should you make decisions alone?

Hi, another great essay. Your format is excellent and addresses the prompt correctly and comprehensively. The flow in your paragraphs is outstanding - I especially liked your second body paragraph where you not only give the disadvantages of nursing home, but contrast them with the advantages of caring for elders at home. This essay is a great example of devoting enough space in your conclusion to justifying your opinion and clarifying to what extent and under what conditions you support your side of the issue - super-duper ! I was still able to find a few minor errors and give some suggestions were slight improvements in word choice could be made:


Got it. Thanks for all the tips Luschen!


Hi Luschen,

If you have time can you check out my independent and integrated essays? This will be my last integrated essay on this forum and I would like to know if it’s worth a 5/5 and if there are any other areas I can improve on.

Also, can you recommend anything that will increase my score on the speaking section?

Here are the links for the essays: