Here's a good comparison IMO. My grandmother is in a medicare funded nursing home. She's been shuttled back and forth between there and the hospital bc the two argue about how much care she needs. She hates the food, has a terrible roomate. I mean, the place reminds me highly of the hospital were DD was born, only I had a private room and my gma has to share hers; and it's shabbier and the attendants surlier (sorry to anyone who works in one, I know it's a hard job, and some are great--see below--gma's place just sucks). And she's there until she dies; I was only in for 3 days. She can't cook, can store less in the way of possessions than we take on vacation. She has no money, never saved much/any money, did some stupid things with money. (OTOH, she never learned to balance a checkbook, my grandfather didn't think women should handle money).
In contrast, my husband's grandmother lives, at 90-something... 93 I think... in an assisted living facility. When/if she needs full time care, she can move to a different wing of the same facility. She spends a month or so in her retirement community in Florida (used to spend half the year there). She has her own 2 bedroom apartment, her own furniture and decor and treasures. There are pull bars and "need help" cords in every room though. Someone comes by in the morning and helps her remember which med to take when. She has to put a "gone to bed" sign on her door at night and remove it in the morning or else the staff will knock, and if no answer, will come in, to check on her. Staff is like a friendly hotel desk staff, not luxury, but kind. She has friends and regular grocery store runs she can choose to do or not. She can eat in the cafeteria (I think they pay, but maybe not) or she can cook for herself or go out to eat with her son or a friend who can drive. She and her husband saved, budgeted, were careful with money. She gifts all her great grandchildren with great starts to their college funds.
It's very very sad, bc I see my parents hurtling toward the same situation my grandmother is in all around. They don't seem to get that retirement and life and health in old age could mean anything more. In their minds, they'll be in their own house, a retirement community, or me, the only solvent child, should take them in. That last will not be happening. I don't have the space at all (2 kids, 650 square feet; so I mean it literally) and I don't have the emotional energy or desire to deal with their unaddressed medical issues (mom has anorexia; today she said she was too full for dinner because she "shared some of DDs apple." That was 1 bite-- smaller than the baby takes, literally.) and their racism (Let's not discuss what my dad and brother had to say about our next Pres. shall we? I've never heard such crap from anyone but them and my grandfather, ever!)
Me, I expect to follow in my GMIL and MILs footsteps!