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Nursing Homes
Nursing Homes

Learn English with this family English lesson

Date: Jul 12 2013

Grammar: Zero Conditional


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What happens when you have an elderly parent or grandparent who is no longer able to take care of him or herself? Do you invite your relative to come live with you and your family? Or, if you’re simply not able to take on that responsibility, do you send your relative to go live in a nursing home or other facility where attendants can provide the care he or she needs?

It can be a tough decision. To put your grandmother in a home might feel as if you’re abandoning her. But, especially if her mental or physical health is in decline, it’s possible that you simply wouldn’t be able to give her the proper care. Find out what Greta and Lily think about nursing homes in this family English lesson.




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Lily:  Greta, I have some sad news. My grandmother just got put in a nursing home.

Greta:  Oh.

Lily:  Yeah.

Greta:  Well, I guess that’s sad news, although I work in a nursing home, and at least the one that I work in is a really lovely place.

Lily:  That’s good. I didn’t really know much about it. All I knew is that she got moved out of her house because she was starting to get to that point where she couldn’t really take care of herself very well, and my family wasn’t really in a position to take care of her, so that decision came up.

Greta:  I think when older people get to the point that they’re no longer self-sufficient, if a family can’t shoulder that obligation, nursing homes can be a really great way for people to have the care that they need and still maintain some kind of lifestyle that they’re used to. But especially if they have health problems, older people can be sort of high maintenance in terms of their medication and safety and all of that, and it’s a lot to take on.

Lily:  I guess so. I’d never really thought about it like that. I always thought of it more like we’re letting her down by putting her in a home. But I guess if it’s a nice place, then it can be a good thing.

Greta:  I think so. And I think one of the things that makes the biggest difference is what the attendants are like at the nursing home. Because if they are great and they love what they do, I think that really comes through.


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Lily is sad because her grandmother just moved to a nursing home. Greta doesn’t think it’s necessarily a sad thing, though. She says that some nursing homes are quite nice. In fact, she works in one.

Greta thinks that sometimes nursing homes are just necessary. When older people are no longer self-sufficient and their family can’t take care of them, sometimes a nursing home is a really good option. This is especially true when someone needs to take medication or have other medical attention.

This conversation has changed Lily’s thinking about nursing homes. Maybe the fact that her grandma is moving into a nursing home isn’t so sad, after all.

Do you think that older people should move in with their families, or go to nursing homes? Have you ever been to a nursing home? What do you want to happen when you are old?



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NO i can’t put my dear mom or dad in a nursing home whatever case cuz when i was young they spent all there lifes taking care of me how could i  bondoned them when they are really needy for me 

06:55 PM Apr 16 2014 |




I think if you have the resources to have your elderly relative move in with you it´s nice. Being around your family is always the best option. Unfortunately there are many situations in which a nursing home is necessary. I have had my father in a nursing home for almost 2 years. We couldn´t look after him at home because my mother is elderly as well and my father´s health deteriorated to the point he´s become bed ridden. He needs 24/7 medical attention and nursing. We think it´s not the best option but he´s been looked after pretty well and we go and visit him every weekend or whenever possible. He will never be abandoned.

04:00 PM Apr 15 2014 |



I think nursing homes are good places at least here in Spain. My mother in law lived there and she is very happy, she has good friends and even a boy friend. She is well care and in our apartment was imposible because is too small and we haven’ t time to  take care her properly

08:49 AM Jul 20 2013 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

actually i like my family to live with me cuz When I was growing up, my parents took care of me really hard .and  uknow how  can i send my parents there ?!!!.my mom and dad are my heart how can i be rude like that..never never..and i really accept this ;what you will do to your parents is what your future children will do to you when you get older…..

06:08 PM Jul 15 2013 |




Julito, I think the sadness they feel has a lot to deal with the fact that they grew tired of waking up every day to the same sedentary routines and have caretakers babying them so profusely. Plus, I don’t think they like being confined to a place that reminds them as to what age group they belong, they don’t like that label much.

01:48 PM Jul 15 2013 |



Russian Federation

For sure, my dear friends, you’re all right, yet I wouldn’t consider this big deal in such one-sided manner and so decidely.

To begin with, you know, in lots of cases relationships with parents can be very extraordinary. And when your modest family you’re used to is getting in a certain way transformed, when, for instance, your children are about to set up their own families and your home is getting more like it’s not yours any longer, it can be very stressful for either parents and youth. Barely does someone find it cool to live on a top of one another and likely will look for the way of separating. Not to mention, even thogh they all are mostly sweet, good and likable, the parents’ care (especially the older they get, the more greatly it comes through) can be really excessive and irritative – one can watch funny flick “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot” as an approvement of above.  

As the youth representative I find it extremely annoying to live as a young couple together with such grand person in one apartment or something. However, it’s still wild and disgusting to abondon your (grand) parents putting in a nursing “homes” using an absurd excuse for letting you live the lives of your own.

All that I mean, is that I would be grateful anyway and try my best to provide all neccesary accomodation for my (grand) parents, were they in need of so and I could lend my hand somehow, whenas I’d still avoid the possibility of moving in, messing up and consequently merely disturbing each other.

09:56 AM Jul 15 2013 |



Well, unfortunately some families that can’t take care of their elderly parents or relatives, end up mistreat. So nursing homes, in that case is good. But unfortunately too some nursing homes end up don’t offering the care and safety sufficient to them, so it’s better live with family.
So, if the families can’t be able to care of them, so select the better nursing home to them. They gave us the better for us, so, we MUST TO take care of them. Be in a nursing home or with family.

09:53 PM Jul 14 2013 |

Amido Hernan Rios


it’s very important to care take of our grandparents and old persons.

02:23 PM Jul 14 2013 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

what is the picture of your profile Dear ryo from saudia arabia?

05:38 AM Jul 14 2013 |



United Arab Emirates

for me if it happen and i hope not . i will take her\him to my home and i will bring nurses to take care of them. i will do my best to provide them with a good medical environement. it could be much expensive to bring nurses to the home but i will work hard for it. they deserve to take care of them .

04:04 AM Jul 14 2013 |



i have seen many messages here

with most of them , I agree

but…........ pls note, in some countries flats are too expensive

and have several levels, Elder ppl need a flat in basement, and some ppl

who look after them , sometimes day and night

when you are working in a job, how will you manage it ?

I did it for my mom for 3 weeks…........ahhhhhh what hard work, also when I love my mom. But, you need a special education to nurse your elder parents and you have to be very patient. Good luck to all, who do this service

04:27 PM Jul 13 2013 |



ı think iran friend is absolutely right

03:55 PM Jul 13 2013 |




Maybe nursing homes are good habitats for those whom have no kins, and those no one can take care of them. But i will never send my parents to a nursing home and also i am not willing to be sent to a nursing home either. Yes, as this esteemed IRAN friend says, nursing homes are like orphanages, i suppose if i lived there, i will must be very lonely and heart-broken, i will feel i was abandoned by my families. if that is the case, i will perfer to live by myself or to die earlier.

03:09 AM Jul 13 2013 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I think nursing homes are like orphanages.Both are for people having no one to take care of them.I think we would’ve never been satisfied to be taken to an orphanage.When we were child our parents looked after us although they were busy.Now it’s our turn. 

How I behave towards my parents today my children will do towards me tomorrow . That’s the nature.




Snoopy,   I know that  not always  retirement homes are as bad as one may assume. There are many good ones  but certainly  they are too expensive and beyond the reach of the common folk. What you have stated (by your own personal observation) is my experience too. I have seen  in many elders so much sadness in their eyes , as if they had been dumped  into one of these facilities  and forgotten  for ever.   

12:42 AM Jul 13 2013 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

In Quran we read that :


And your lord (God) has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but him, and goodness to your parents. if either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) “ugh” nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word (23)

and make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: o my lord! have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when i was) little (24)

your lord knows best what is in your minds; if you are good, then he is surely forgiving to those who turn (to him) frequently (25)

and give to the near of kin his due and (to) the needy and the wayfarer, and do not quander wastefully (26)


Chapter 17: AL-ISRA (ISRA’)


وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلاَهُمَا فَلاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ وَلاَ تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيمًا ﴿23﴾

وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا ﴿24﴾

رَّبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِي نُفُوسِكُمْ إِن تَكُونُواْ صَالِحِينَ فَإِنَّهُ كَانَ لِلأَوَّابِينَ غَفُورًا ﴿25﴾

وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَى حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَلاَ تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا ﴿26﴾





I cant bear the idea of nursing home only in very evry specific situations. Is that our reward to those who have spent so  much time and love  for us as we grew up .As we were in need for care and love now we have to bay them by taking care of them.  Nothing replace the warmth of the home. Those old peopl need kindness  and love more than medical issues. 

I remembered my grandmother may Allah bless her when she was sick. I was so young and sitting beside her grasping her hand. her eyes were full of happiness  inspite of all her pain. Sometimes a smile is better than any medical treatment. 

  I want to be strong and  provider  but I dont want  the humiliation of being cared for. I pray not to be a  helpless elder in need of  my children.   I wish the same for my parents. 

10:17 PM Jul 12 2013 |



Congo, Democratic Republic Of The

I’ve never met such a situation but through this, I think my grandfather can’t be sel-sufficient due to their age, I’ll get nursing homes for them !

06:27 PM Jul 12 2013 |




I can’t imagine that my parents go to nursing home, it would be terrible for me and for them. However I  can understand that not everybody is able to take care of their parents and they have no choice. Nowadays we work very long and we are not able to devote as much time to someopne. The worst is what we hear about nursing homes. I’ve never heard something good about it and that’s why these places scared me so much. 

I wish that my children will be with me forever.

06:05 PM Jul 12 2013 |




     My mother and I had a conversation about the prospect of her being confined at a nursing home. To her, that will just be one step above being on death row. I questioned her about her meaning, pretending for a moment that I didn’t get her. Her response echoed what Irene had mentioned in her comment; my mother said that her wish is that God grants her the strength to wake up and go to work and enjoy her independence. She explained that she didn’t want to burden me or my younger siblings with her health concerns. I dismissed her statements by telling her that she had no business of occupying her mind with such thoughts at her age,” Listen to you, you just turned 50” I said and joked that I will produce so many grand children that she should cross out ‘retirement’ off her agenda for the future. We had a good laugh and our conversation went on to another subject.

     I have since been to many assisted living facilities. What I gathered from those visits is that despite the great efforts of many companies to make those places seem as close to home as they can possibly be, I saw in the eyes of these elderly people that something substantial was missing and some of their demeanors indicated a sense of despair and utter irritation. I didn’t need to conduct a survey to deduct that 99.991 % of these folks weren’t having the time of their lives there.  The truth is that some of these people are still physically capable of leading a normal life, and possibly the reason they end up in places like nursing houses is simply because they’ve met some unfortunate contrarieties that have forced them to become financially dependent on their children or other relatives. For instance, they could have been laid off and simply were unable to land another job largely due to age discrimination. It strikes terror in the eyes of many employers when a 60 plus candidate shows up for an interview as they feel they’ll have to provide him or her with an over the top health insurance perk.

     As much as I’m willing to support my mother with everything, I would rather see her age gracefully, sanely and being overall self-sufficient.  My wish is that everything I do for my mother in her older ages is done out of gratitude and love, not as some sort of life support contribution. If she’s healthy enough to be on her own, I could leave it up to her as to where she wants to live the rest of her life.  Thinking back on that conversation and what I’ve witnessed firsthand, I know a nursing home is the last place my mother would want to be and I, too, want better for her.

No offense to you nursing house industry, I value all that you do, but I think  my mother and I will pass on your offers : )

05:48 PM Jul 12 2013 |

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