Elderly man with caregiver

The average annual estimated cost for caregiving for an elderly stroke survivor is about $11,300, which translates to about $40 billion annually among all Medicare beneficiaries, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016.

Researchers analyzed a large national study of Medicare beneficiaries, comparing caregiving between 892 stroke survivors and a similar group of Medicare beneficiaries, who had not had a stroke. Caregivers were defined as all people who helped with self-care, mobility or with household activities, which the care recipient could not do because of health or functioning.

On average, stroke survivors received about 22 hours of caregiving each week, which was about 10 hours more than the weekly amount of caregiving for those without stroke.

Previous research on caregiving for stroke survivors estimated that the average survivor received up to 16 hours a week hours of informal caregiving at a societal cost of as much as $26.8 billion a year. But these studies did not include activities, such as assistance with doctors’ visits, health insurance decisions, transportation or money matters (opening or closing accounts, for example).