John Oliver’s latest target: nursing homes and the long-term care industry. If you’ve ever had a family member in a nursing home before, you’re probably familiar with the fundamental dilemma behind them: most people don’t have the knowledge, money, or time to provide long-term care to their loved ones, but nursing homes can be unreliable and downright negligent, while also being incredibly expensive. As Oliver points out, the deep-seated issues within the long-term care industry have been both exacerbated and exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, with often tragic ends.
It’s a typically well-rounded and incisive Last Week Tonight segment, digging not just into the problem and revealing its systemic causes, but also looking at possible ways to reform and improve the system. And, as always, it’s still absolutely hilarious, despite looking very closely at an inherently depressing situation. No, this topic isn’t as eye-catching or viral-oriented as much of Oliver’s work, but that just reinforces one of the saddest aspects of the nursing home debate: people just don’t want to think or talk about this stuff. Not just because it makes them have to confront the mortality of their loved ones, and thus their own mortality, but also because there’s so much shame and guilt wrapped around the issue of care. Because people don’t want to talk about it, the problems that accumulate within the industry often go unnoticed, and that’s investigations like Oliver’s are important. Watch it below, and find last night’s full episode of Last Week Tonight on HBO and HBO Max.