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Poll: Older Hispanics Face Language And Cultural Barriers To Long-Term Care

Older Hispanics are facing language and cultural barriers when interacting with their health care providers, which leads to less quality of care — that's according to a poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research which came out last week.

Fewer than 2 in 10 Hispanics who are 40 and older are confident an assisted living facility could handle their cultural needs. The poll also found that about half ran into cultural and language barriers when communicating with their doctor.

"Hispanics typically in Latin America, Mexico ... tend to keep their family members, the older adults at home and give the care to them rather than put them in the home," said Alex Juarez with AARP Arizona.

In other words, Juarez says older Hispanics feel like their family members are their caregivers. Other key findings from the report: 62 percent say the U.S. is not well prepared to meet the needs of its aging population and two-thirds say those cultural and language barriers have led to more stress or delays in getting care.

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.