Now that multiple families are scattered far and wide, many elderly people live alone with little support. Then if a partner or mate dies, many couple friends drift away. This is also true after a divorce. As medical problems begin to develop, where does a lonely senior turn? If money is not a problem, a boutique or concierge doctor may be the answer. The usual boutique doctor has only about 200 patients, which is far different from the average practicing physician. These doctors promise to be on-call 24/7 and to also make house calls. This can be a blessing for a senior, lonely person who has a medical emergency. Having an on-going connection with a boutique doctor can reduce the anxiety about having a medical emergency with no one to call. In the small city where I live, I am told the annual fee patients pay for a boutique doctor is about $1500 to $2000. In Florida, some patients pay an annual fee of $20,000. If money is not a problem, this is fine, but what about lonely seniors who do not have the money to pay for a boutique doctor?
In France, the doctors still make house calls which are free and their medical system, plus the one in England are reported to be the best in the world. We in the U.S. are way down the list and I am afraid in the next four years, we may drop even lower. How wonderful if we had a medical system still based on caring and not money. Yes, there are still some wonderful physicians, but the answer I hear from Republicans about how to care for patients is to add more nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Because their medical training is far less than that of a M.D., that is a scary idea. So if you have a wonderful family doctor or internist as a senior, be very thankful.