Today my brother, my mother and I went to inspect a retirement village that my mother is thinking of wait-listing herself for. It's one of those establishments which has: apartments for people who want to live independently but have access to lots of other old people; assisted living apartments for people who want someone else to worry about the housekeeping, heating and bill-paying; and rest-home apartments for...well, you get the idea.
It was the independent apartments she was after, and the display apartment we looked at was really quite nice - modern, reasonably spacious and low-maintenance. It's appeal to my mother was that it looked just like a "normal" apartment.
Then we went to visit a friend of hers, who has recently moved into one of the assisted-living apartments. It's a studio, so everything's crammed into one cosy room plus bathroom. This friend doesn't have to worry about power bills, vacuuming or cooking - the former two are included in his living package and the latter is sorted by the closeness of several small eateries nearby.
I haven't talked to the sales lady yet, but it appears that either you get the larger apartment and mostly look after yourself, or get loads of help but live in a cupboard.
And I think my mother is going to want the bigger living space AND the lotsa help.