Even if you intend to care for your loved one at home for as long as possible, there may come a time when they need extra support. That’s where Spanish-speaking senior living facilities can help.
Removing the language barrier when it comes to senior living is critical for older adults in the Spanish-speaking community. Nearly 60 percent of Hispanic adults have struggled communicating with a healthcare provider because of a language or cultural barrier.1 Spanish-speaking assisted living, nursing home, and memory care facilities hope to eliminate those language and cultural barriers by employing Spanish-speaking staff, offering familiar cuisine, and embracing cultural traditions and activities.
Below we’ll explore the benefits of Spanish-speaking senior living, tips for finding the right place for yourself or your loved one, and more.
Benefits of Spanish-Speaking Senior Living
Moving to a new place, meeting new people, and learning how to manage medical conditions can be overwhelming and confusing for anyone. If you add in a language barrier, it only becomes more difficult. Choosing a senior living facility with Spanish-speaking staff can help your move go as smoothly as possible. Once settled, your comfort level is bound to be enhanced knowing that you can interact with others — on everything from expressing medical concerns, to picking your meals, or asking about upcoming events — in Spanish.
For those with memory loss, there could be a situation where the patient has learned to speak English, but has forgotten the language due to Alzheimer’s and dementia. In these cases, it’s even more crucial that a Spanish-speaking senior living facility or around-the-clock Spanish-speaking staff is available.
Activities offered in Spanish
Many Spanish-speaking senior living communities offer events and activities in Spanish. They’re also more likely to offer food that you’re familiar with, celebrate important cultural holidays, and provide religious services or Bible studies in Spanish.
Easier to connect with others
Having good social relationships is an important part of aging well. In fact, poor social relationships are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.2 Seniors who experience loneliness may also be more likely to experience depression and anxiety. Living in a senior community where other residents and staff speak the same language can make building strong social relationships easier. You might also have an easier time finding others who share similar cultural and religious traditions.
Relieves stress on the family
Spanish-speaking senior living facilities offer peace of mind to families. Families know that their loved one will be understood and can express themselves properly. They won’t need to worry about their loved one’s needs being unmet due to a language or cultural barrier.
Did You Know: Older adults require different levels of care. Check out our guide to long-term care to learn about which option best meets your needs.
How Much Does Spanish-Speaking Senior Living Cost?
Spanish-speaking senior living doesn’t cost more than other facilities that offer the same level of care.3 Below is a general breakdown of prices for different types of senior care. Actual costs vary depending on the individual location.
|Type of Senior Living Facility||2021 national monthly median cost||2021 national yearly median cost|
|Nursing home||Semiprivate room: $7,908
Private room: $9,034
|Semiprivate room: $94,900
Private room: $108,405
Seniors who don’t need extra help but want to live among their peers might consider moving into a Spanish-speaking 55+ retirement community. Independent living communities range in cost. Some require you to purchase a house upfront while others are rented townhomes or apartments. They offer fewer services than other types of senior living, so you can expect rental prices that are comparable to conventional apartments. You might also need to pay an HOA fee, which covers maintenance, events, lawn care, and other community needs or amenities.
How to Pay for Spanish-Speaking Senior Living
Seniors and their families use a variety of means to pay for senior living expenses:
- Medicare may be an option for some skilled nursing facilities but will likely not cover costs at assisted living communities or long-term care facilities.
- Medicaid is decided on a state-by-state basis, so it’s best to check where you live to see what benefits may be available for skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, or memory care.
- Veterans’ benefits may be an option depending on the type of care that is needed. You will need to check to see what your specific benefit plan will cover.
- Long-term care insurance policies vary, but can often cover services and senior living facilities that aren’t covered by Medicare or other government benefits.
- Seniors can also pay out of pocket by selling their home, cashing in life insurance plans, or using savings, retirement income, or family contributions.
Helpful Hint: Strapped for cash? Don’t fret. Check out our article about ways you may be able to pay for senior living, even if you have no money.
Tips for Finding Spanish-Speaking Assisted Living or Other Senior Facility
Finding a Spanish-speaking senior living community can be tricky. If you search for facilities in geographic areas with a large Hispanic population, you might have an easier time. Those communities will be more likely to offer services beyond just Spanish-speaking staff. These may include cultural celebrations, Latin cuisine, and activities and religious services in Spanish.
Below are a few other tips for finding Spanish-speaking senior living communities.
1. Search on the internet
You may be able to locate Spanish-speaking senior housing communities with a simple internet search. Here are a few suggested searches:
- Spanish-speaking assisted living in “town name, state name”
- Bilingual assisted living in “town name, state name”
- Nursing homes with multilingual staff in “town name, state name”
- “Spanish” nursing homes near me
- Hispanic retirement communities nearby
2. Call local senior living communities and ask
Even if you don’t see buzzwords like “Spanish-speaking” or “bilingual staff” on a nearby facility's website, it doesn’t mean they don’t offer those services. We recommend calling local senior living communities that you’re interested in and asking what services they offer for Spanish-speaking seniors.
Some questions that you might want to ask include:
- Do you have Spanish-speaking staff members?
- Which levels of employees speak Spanish? For example, is it just support staff or also nurses and other medical staff?
- What percentage of other residents speak Spanish?
- What activities does your community offer in Spanish? These can include Catholic Mass, book clubs, or cultural celebrations.
- Can the residents share feedback about types of activities, outings, and celebrations they would like to see offered?
- Do you serve Spanish or Latin American cuisine?
- Is your community diverse?
3. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging
Your local area on aging can provide information on senior services available in your area. Visit your local office or give them a call to find out about local Spanish-speaking service providers, community centers, and living options for seniors.
4. Connect with local Spanish senior organizations
Do an internet search for local Hispanic senior centers or other Spanish-speaking senior organizations. These organizations may be able to provide you with additional information about Spanish-speaking senior living facilities in the area. Plus, you might just find new opportunities for yourself or your loved one to stay engaged and connected with others who speak Spanish.
Here are a few examples of organizations that cater to Spanish-speaking seniors to give you an idea of what to look for and what services might be offered.
- Hispanic Senior Center: This senior center in the Greater Cleveland area provides recreational and social opportunities for Hispanic seniors. They aim to bring together individuals with a common language and cultural background.
- Hispanic Brotherhood Senior Services: This agency provides meals, recreation opportunities, and activities to seniors in Nassau County, New York. They also provide specialized social services, including document translation and housing referrals.
- Spanish Speaking Elderly Council RAICES: Founded in 1978, this not-for-profit social services agency responds to the unmet needs of Latino, African American, and low-income aging communities in Brooklyn, New York. The organization runs nine bilingual senior centers and offers bilingual case management services to help seniors secure needed benefits.
5. Get recommendations from friends or acquaintances
If your loved one is involved in a local Spanish-speaking community, such as a church or senior center, ask that community for recommendations. They might have firsthand experience with local senior living communities and what services they offer for Spanish-speaking or bilingual residents.
FYI: Don’t want to leave home? Senior home care helps you safely age in place. Look for bilingual or Spanish-speaking home care aides or home health aides who can best meet your language and cultural needs.
Where Can I Find Spanish-Speaking Assisted Living?
We used the tips above to find local Spanish-speaking senior living communities across the country. While it is only a small sample, we hope it gives you an idea of what you might be able to find in your area.
This facility caters to Hispanic seniors and offers rehab and skilled nursing care after a hospital stay. All staff members are fully bilingual and bicultural at all levels to best meet everyone’s needs. Here, you’ll also find specialized menus and cultural activities.
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
The center has a Hispanic and Latino Welcome program to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of Spanish-speaking seniors and families. The program features Spanish-speaking staff at all levels, including the program director for the memory care unit. Residents also have access to Spanish TV channels, books, and magazines, as well as Spanish cuisine and cultural entertainment and activities.
Brooklyn, New York
Here, bilingual physicians, nurses, and social workers offer subacute nursing, short-term rehabilitation, and long-term care to Hispanic seniors. Residents enjoy religious services in Spanish, authentic Spanish cuisine, and in-room Spanish publications and television channels.
Bronx, New York
Since 1992, families in the Bronx have turned to San Vicente de Paúl for residential skilled nursing services and short-term rehabilitation. This community creates a welcome environment for Spanish-speaking seniors by serving authentic Latin cuisine, hosting regular events that celebrate Hispanic art, music, and culture, and employing multilingual care staff.
This facility offers assisted living, memory care, and short-term care services, including respite care. In 2018, approximately 85 percent of the 350 residents were Hispanic. To make learning about their services easier, the entire website and a tour video are available in Spanish.
Located in an area where the majority of the population identifies as Hispanic or Latino, La Estancia Nursing and Rehabilitation Center employs bilingual staff to assist all residents. This skilled nursing facility offers short-term rehabilitation, long-term care, and respite care.