Hispanic caregivers face unprecedented strain

Fabiola Santiago, 51, has three daughters that require her watchful eye most of the day. When she's not looking after her children, she's tending to her parents, who live just two miles away and require constant visits, according to The New York Times.

Hers is the story of many Hispanic families, who are deeply in touch with familialismo, which is the tradition of taking care of elderly parents and keeping loved ones together.

Hispanic caregivers face unprecedented strain However, language barriers are proving to be major obstacles when caregivers attempt to utilize healthcare resources, while low incomes have made retirement living a fantasy.

"They often underutilize formal services and experience a great deal of stress," Maria Rosa, vice president of the National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) Institute for Hispanic Health, told the news source. "Still, because of language barriers, low income, lack of insurance or a genuine feeling of responsibility, Latinos continue to use family as a primary source of care."

Rosa's organization provides practical advice and services for struggling Hispanic families. NCLR is currently fighting to keep healthcare reform enacted, which may help seniors and family caregivers get better access to treatment and assisted living options.

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