CHICAGO, July 26, 2018 — Fifty-seven percent of Hispanic adults age 18 and older have experienced a language or cultural barrier in the health care system, and half of those turned to a family member or other health care provider to overcome it according to a new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Many also express concerns about the cultural accommodations long-term care services in their area may or may not make. Less than half say it would be easy for older Latinos in their area to find nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health aides that speak their language. Fewer than 3 in 10 say they could find long-term care facilities that provide the kinds of food they are used to.

The study reveals that 81 percent of Hispanics age 40 and older would be comfortable using some form of telemedicine for their care needs, though many express concerns about the security of their health care information. Just 2 in 10 Hispanic adults age 40 and older expect Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid to continue providing the same level of benefits in five years.

“The proportion of Hispanics among those age 65 and older is expected to grow by more than 50 percent in the coming years, making their views on experiences with long-term care critical issues,” said Trevor Tompson, director of The AP-NORC Center. “We found that many Hispanics have faced communication barriers when receiving care. At the same time, older Hispanics don’t have a lot of confidence in the stability of current government programs or their own financial preparedness.”

The number of Americans age 65 and older is expected to nearly double by 2060, and nearly 7 in 10 older Americans need long-term care at some point in their life. The increasing demand for long-term care services is likely to put a strain on individuals, families, and government programs.

Key findings include:

  • Many Hispanics are concerned about the cultural accommodations of long-term care services available to Latinos in their area. Less than half say it would be easy to find a home health care aide, nursing home, or assisted living facility that speaks their language. Fewer say it would be easy to find long-term care services that can make the food they are used to.
  • Eight-one percent of Hispanics age 40 and older would be comfortable with some form of telemedicine.
  • While comfort with telemedicine is generally high among older Hispanics, they are less comfortable than non-Hispanics with some telemedicine services. For example, 52 percent of Hispanics age 40 and older are comfortable using the phone for medical consultation with their provider, compared to 68 percent of older non-Hispanics.
  • Four in 10 older Hispanics have experience providing care, and 65 percent do so for 10 or more hours per week, unpaid. Most say it’s stressful—28 percent report high stress from caregiving, and another 40 percent report moderate stress.
  • Even though many are stressed, 46 percent of older Hispanics say they have all or most of the emotional and social support they need to provide care. The most common sources of support are family (68 percent), followed by health care providers (53 percent).
  • Eighty-three percent of older Hispanics support employer-offered long-term care insurance plans. Of those, 48 percent prefer an opt-in program, and 48 percent prefer automatic enrollment.
  • More than three-quarters of older Hispanics support policies like the ability to get long-term care coverage through Medicare Advantage or other supplemental insurance, tax breaks for those who provide care, paid family leave, and a government-administered long-term care insurance program.

The survey about long-term care has been conducted annually since 2013 by The AP-NORC Center, with principal funding from The SCAN Foundation. Collectively the surveys reveal widely held misperceptions about the extent of long-term care Americans are likely to need and about the costs of such care.

About the Survey
This study, funded by The SCAN Foundation, was conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Data were collected using AmeriSpeak®, NORC’s probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population. During the initial recruitment phase of the panel, randomly selected U.S. households were sampled with a known, non-zero probability of selection from the NORC National Sample Frame and then contacted by U.S. mail, email, telephone, and field interviewers (face-to-face). The panel provides sample coverage of approximately 97 percent of the U.S. household population. Those excluded from the sample include people with P.O. Box only addresses, some addresses not listed in the USPS Delivery Sequence File, and some newly constructed dwellings. Of note for this study, the panel may exclude recipients of long-term care who live in some institutional types of settings, such as skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes, depending on how addresses are listed for the facility. Staff from NORC at the University of Chicago, The Associated Press, and The SCAN Foundation collaborated on all aspects of the study.

Interviews for this survey were conducted between March 13 and April 5, 2018, with adults age 18 and older representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Panel members were randomly drawn from AmeriSpeak, and 1,945 completed the survey—1,588 via the web and 357 via telephone. It includes 458 interviews with Hispanics age 18 and older, including 385 Hispanics age 40 and older. The margin of sampling error among Hispanic adults age 18 and older is +/- 9.5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level, including the design effect. For purposes of analysis, adults age 40 and older and Hispanic older adults were sampled at a higher rate than their proportion of the population, then weighted back to their proper proportion in the survey, according to the most recent Census. Interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish, depending on respondent preference.

Complete survey findings are available at

About The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research
The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research taps into the power of social science research and the highest-quality journalism to bring key information to people across the nation and throughout the world.

The Associated Press (AP) is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP.

NORC at the University of Chicago is an independent research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, NORC has conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with NORC to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.

The two organizations have established The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research to conduct, analyze, and distribute social science research in the public interest on newsworthy topics, and to use the power of journalism to tell the stories that research reveals.


Contact: For more information, contact Eric Young for NORC at or (703) 217-6814 (cell); Ray Boyer for NORC at or (312) 330-6433; or Bryan Baldwin for AP at