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IELTS essay, topic: Can the society cope with the larger number of elderly people and how?

This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is likely to score IELTS Band 9.

Set 3 Academic book, Practice Test 12

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

With the improvements in today’s health care, society has to care for more and more elderly people.

Do you feel that society will be able to cope with the increase in numbers of elderly people today and how can it be managed?

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

You should write at least 250 words.


In current society, the life expectancy in western countries has increased significantly. Also, fewer babies are being born, causing the relative percentage of elderly people to increase. These people have to be taken care of, causing the question to rise whether this number of elderly people can be cared for.

When people grow older, they can also develop more health issues, resulting in more visits to doctors and hospitals, and an increased usage of pharmaceuticals. Due to the current large numbers of elderly people, the pressure put onto health care systems is increasing. In many western countries, the state provides most of the health care system. Therefore with increasing numbers of old people, higher percentages of state funding have to be allocated to health care and this could cause shortfalls in other areas, for example education. This change in the distribution of money can therefore impact society negatively.

Society should be able to handle these changes. Governments will have been able to predict the changing demographic situations in their countries and plan accordingly. This might indeed lead to other sectors in society having money taken away from them, but caring for the elderly is one of the key responsibilities of today’s governments. For the future, it might be necessary to ensure that an extra insurance charge is levied on people’s salaries in order that any future financial shortfall is met. This would be unpopular, but would allow governments to have the necessary funds available.

In conclusion, society today and in the future should be well able to deal with caring for their elderly. It is only a question of careful long-term forecasting and planning.

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