One elderly person who I admire very much is my grandmother. She still lives her life to the fullest despite being an old lady.

         I’ve known my grandmother my whole life. At least a few times every year, my family drives down to visit her in her city. We travel a long way but it is always worth it, and though we’re tired by the time we arrive, she makes us feel so welcome with a nice cup of tea and some cake.

        My grandmother is getting on a bit now - she’s nearly 80 years old- but she still has the energy of a woman half her age. She enjoys going hiking and can often be seen striding across a rugged hillside with a walking stick in hand. Her husband passed away a few years ago. She keeps active and sociable with her walking club friends. I know she looks forward to the occasions when we can be together and enjoy being a family.

         I admire my grandmother mainly because of her inner strength. It must be tough to carry on after having lost her beloved husband of over forty years. She radiates cheerfulness and optimism whenever I’m with her, and I find this attitude so inspiring. I hope that I can live my life with the same gusto with which she has lived hers. She doesn’t let anything get her down. It’s a shame that I can’t see her as often as I used to, so I look forward even more to those times when we can be together.

In general, people in my country are highly respectful of their elders. There is a deep-rooted sense of respect for age and experience in this country. It is not uncommon for people to offer their seats to older people on the bus or train, or to help them with their shopping. When eating, one always lets the oldest person begin eating first. Old people are held in high regard because people recognize that their long lives give them wisdom and experience. If someone has a problem they need advice about, they will almost certainly talk to an elderly person.

Hopefully, old people are looked after by their children. As a matter of fact, they raised their children and brought them up, so the children should repay their parents by taking care of them when they are old. However, not all old people have families or families that are willing to care for them. They sometimes stay in an old people’s home where they can live in a community of other people their age. The main problem with these homes is that they may be very expensive, and the quality of care varies dramatically.

It’s very important for family members to provide their elder relatives with material needs and comfort, such as warm and safe housing and good food. Some older people cannot do the same tasks that they could do when they were younger, so they need someone to cook and clean for them. However, it’s also vital that family members continue to show their love and affection. Being old can be a lonely experience, and knowing that your family loves you and cares for you can be a wonderful comfort.

Of course there are many advantages, and there are also disadvantage to being old. One enjoyable aspect of old age is that one is generally not required to work. Old people can enjoy lots of free time without pressures of career or earning money. Many old people take up hobbies such as dancing or board games. One can often see groups of old ladies dancing to music in the streets as a form of exercise and for fun. There is now a lot of time to enjoy socializing and spending time with friends and loved ones. Another advantage to being old is that old people have learnt many things from their life and can be considered rather wise and knowledgeable.

The main reason people live longer now than they did in the past is the improvements in diet and health. Generally, the world has developed greatly over the last hundred years. Now it is much easier to find healthy food and get access to medicine. Improvements in technology mean that many illnesses that used to be fatal can now be treated safely and cheaply. Other diseases that arise from poor sanitary conditions such as cholera are now extremely uncommon thanks to vast improvements in infrastructure and general quality of life.

For the most part, old people in my country continue to be treated with respect and admiration. However, it can be argued that the rapidly changing nature of society means that some traditional values get ignored. Some people are so focused on the future and trying to make money that they forget their values. In the past, families stayed together because it was difficult to travel away from home. This meant that old people were well cared for. Nowadays, many families are split up because it is easy to move around the country, so it can be easy to neglect older relatives. Old people in general can often feel cut-off from modern life because it is changing so quickly.

Elderly people have so much to offer young people in terms of their experience. Younger generations cannot understand their story and background without the knowledge of the people who came before them and actually lived through those events. Young people can learn about their cultural heritage from older people who may have a closer connection to traditional customs. Without this constant learning from older generations, many aspects of culture would be lost. Another thing that elderly people can teach the young is how to get by in life and make the most of their opportunities. They have already gone through many of the same experiences young people will go through, and can give them advice based on their own experiences.

Nowadays in my country, there are some colleges that are exclusively for old people to attend. They exist to help them get an education if they didn’t have the opportunity to do so before. They also offer many practical courses so that older people can enjoy learning some new skills and use them to benefit other people. There are also many communities where older people can socialize and support each other. This allows them to makes new friends who share similar interests and remain active and enjoy their old age. It’s great that places like these exist because without them, life might be very boring for some old people living alone.

          My grandmother Myra is a very dedicated woman. Once she sets her mind on something, there’s no stopping her. That’s a good thing because to do what she wants requires extreme dedication.
My grandmother is very close to her family. She’s probably the most loved member of the family. She‘s kind, considerate and very generous. She adores dogs, especially Basset hounds. She’s extremely helpful wherever she goes. She also love to cook. She’s the kind of person who will change her entire day’s plan in order to make someone she loves happy. She calls all of her grandchildren every single day. She always cares if we’re upset for any reason.

         She was born in Montreal, Canada. Her mother died of cancer in her forties and her father wasn’t very supportive of her and her siblings. Because of this, my grandmother became extremely close to her sister Rhea. Today, they are best friends. They tell each other everything. My grandmother has three children, two daughters and a son. Her son lives in Israel, and her daughters live here. She also has a younger brother who she’s also close to.
Early in her life, my grandmother was a little chubby and she was picked up on for it. Because she missed her mother so much, she turned to food for false love. Throughout the years, she became more overweight. Like most people, my grandmother was not happy with her weight, but she never really did anything about it either. Her extra weight brought her health problems. She had a stroke and heart problems, so she had to spend many years in a wheelchair. My grandmother decided enough was enough. She joined Weight Watchers and followed their plan. She started to see improvement. After a little while, she completely abandoned all fatty foods and sweets. Soon after, she became committed to their plan and started losing weight very quickly. She lowered her portions of food considerably and avoided a lot of carbohydrates and other things like that.
In the end, she was very satisfied. She lost weight and didn’t need her wheelchair anymore. Thanks to the experience she went through, she helps other people to slim down. Also, since she knows how it feels to be overweight, she’s now a nutrition counselor. She knows more about the effects of food on health than anyone I know.

       My grandmother taught me an invaluable lesson. From her dedication and perseverance, I’ve learned that no matter how tough a situation looks or how impossible it seems, if there’s a will, there’s a way. She is certainly the most dedicated person I know. She never tops something when she’s in the middle. If someone asks her a question and she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll spend the whole day trying to figure it out. She is and always will be my hero.

Cue Card
Describe an old person who you admire.
You should say
who this person is
how you know this person
what kind of person he or she is
and explain why you admire this person.

Topic 1: An Old Person Who You Admire


to live one’s life to the fullest: tận hưởng cuộc sống
to be worth it: đáng làm việc đó
to get on a bit: hơi già đi
to go hiking: đi bộ đường dài
to stride across: sải bước qua
to pass away: qua đời
sociable: hay giao tiếp
inner strength: sức mạnh nội tại
to radiate: bộc lộ
gusto: sự hăng say

highly respectful: rất kính trọng
deep-rooted: sâu vào cội rễ
to hold sb in high regard: rất kính trọng ai
wisdom: sự thông thái

- to raise children: nuôi dưỡng con cái
- to repay: báo đáp
- to live in a community: sống trong một cộng đồng
- dramatically: một cách đáng kể

- an elderly relative: người họ hàng lớn tuổi
- material needs: nhu cầu vật chất
- vital: quan trọng
- love and affection: tình yêu thương
- a lonely experience: nỗi cô đơn

- an enjoyable aspect: mặt thú vị
- pressures of career: những áp lực của công việc
- to take up a hobby: bắt đầu thực hiện sở thích
- as a form of: như một hình thức của

- diet and health: chế độ ăn và tình trạng sức khỏe
- fatal: gây chết người
- sanitary conditions: điều kiện vệ sinh
- cholera: bệnh tả
- infrastructure: cơ sở hạ tầng

- respect and admiration: sự kính trọng và ngưỡng mộ
- to get ignored: bị lãng quên
- to be split up: bị chia cách
- to neglect sb: bỏ mặc ai
- in general: nói chung
- cut-off from: bị cô lập với

- in terms of: về mặt
- cultural heritage: di sản văn hóa
- traditional customs: phong tục truyền thống

- exclusively: dành riêng
- a practical course: khóa học thực hành
- to support each other: ủng hộ lẫn nhau
- to remain active: duy trì sự năng động

Old People

1.In your country, what is the attitude towards old people?

2. Who do you think should take responsibility for looking after old people?

3 What should family members do for their elderly parents/ grandparents?

4 Are there any advantages to being old?

5 Why do old people today live longer than in the past?

6 Are the attitudes of young people today towards old people the same as they used to be years ago?

7 What can young people learn from elderly people?

8 Do old people in your country have opportunities to attend any forms of classes?

Further reading
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