Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Long-Term Care
April 12, 2021 12:09 AM - Season 8, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Prince Philip died. Matt Gaetz continues to face accusations of pedophilia and sex trafficking. President Biden promised to reverse Trump's refugee cap, but hasn't yet, and no one seems to know why. And Now: A Farewell Tribute to the Greatest Questions Ever Asked on Yahoo! Answers. Main story (23m): Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in the US, and the serious problems that many of they have. And Now: A Few More of the Greatest Questions Ever Asked on Yahoo! Answers.
posted by JHarris (8 comments total)
Powerful and important main story. Long term care isn't much better in Canada (a lot of deplorable practices at a number of facilities, secondary to financial/ capitalism decisions, came out when Covid started ramping up - the military had to be called in - but outrage hasn't been much sustained, although some politicians have made some mouth noises about it).

Are there any nations that do assisted-living/ late-life care well?

My mother's side of the family in HK was able to financially support my maternal grandfather's (with early onset dementia) care but it was still heartbreaking despite the very high dollar value of his care, and it was generally agreed that it was for the best when he finally passed.

All of my other grandparents and my dad (and two uncles) passed with relatively acute maladies (p-grandmother and both p-uncles to suicide, unrelated to physical health).

Acute end-of-life care in Canada for my dad was pretty amazing - far from perfect - but chronic care is fraught.

I'm terrified about my 70yo mom's future, especially since cognitive decline is starting to set in.

On my paternal side, an elderly Aunt who flaunted the family's wishes back in the 70's and moved to- and married- a white American (who passed super young) threw in her towel in 2018 and moved back to HK and made up with the family so the family fund would deign to cover her late life care. (I'm essentially disowned, and that side of the family hates my mom.)

In college I was a volunteer in geriatric units at hospitals in both the US and Canada (in various capacities) and all the staff I interacted with were amazing, but it was definitely an unrewarding and challenging (massive understatement) job. Much more so when dementia was involved.

In that role, as a POC, it was... strange - for lack of a better term - to see how dementia and racism and dependency interacted in different people who had lived the vast majority of their lives with racist worldviews.
posted by porpoise at 1:33 AM on April 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

This was totally depressing.
posted by acrasis at 5:26 PM on April 12, 2021

I don't think anyone had "patient eaten by alligators" on their "issues with assisted living centres" bingo card. I mean, holy fucking shit.

I appreciated that, even with all that's going on, John Oliver took time to take a sideswipe at Gwyneth Paltrow's bullshit company Goop.
posted by orange swan at 9:28 PM on April 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

I wonder how much "Hollywood social circles" has to do with it, but I like Oliver calling out Goop from the angle of, "well of course that's crap."

qv Paltrow says that she enjoys a squeeze of lemon juice (a source of citric acid) in her alkaline water ffs

In contrast, Colbert satirizing Goop with Covetton House while being mean-girl friendly on the face. Or something. I seriously wonder how much Paltrow is laughing behind her hand; where on the spectrum she is along 'really believes in all that crap' to 'merely cynically financially motivated.'

Either way, it's still doing harm by adding to the 'flooding the zone with shit' tactic in the culture war that the extremists are recognizing that they're losing.
posted by porpoise at 12:31 AM on April 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

I don't think anyone had "patient eaten by alligators" on their "issues with assisted living centres" bingo card.

Yeah, but If you think about it for ten seconds--

-the east coast's retirement centers are in Florida
-The cheap land where these centers are established in Florida are often wetlands, and thus require large rainwater detention facilities on site

I'm more surprised that there are so few alligator-patient interactions
posted by eustatic at 3:38 PM on April 13, 2021

Sky Atlantic cut the Duke of Edinburgh bit -- and rather clumsily so at that -- for the UK broadcast. Bit of a shame they didn't get Gilbert Gottfried to read out selections from the obits instead.
posted by bebrogued at 10:14 AM on April 14, 2021

I'm a British Sky Atlantic viewer. Could someone describe the DoE segment we missed? Thanks.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:10 AM on April 15, 2021

It was really short. It is described here.
posted by Quonab at 12:02 PM on April 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

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