I want to be able to ask my Mother's doctor questions without upsetting her by going to her doctor's appointments and asking them in front of her. For example, I don't think she's eating and has lost a lot of weight in the past month. If I could just pick up the phone and ask her doctor to check her chart, then I would know if there's cause for concern. She sees him every 4 months for blood work. Without a legal right, Heppa Laws stop the doctor from talking to me.

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A Power Of Attorney for health care (health directive) should be set up, but the quickest thing to do is ask your mother to sign the HIPAA form the doctor's office offers allowing you to "help her with her health issues". If you're careful about how you phrase this to her and let her know that you just want to help, maybe she'll comply. Most people like to know someone is on their side in this complicated medical system. You can let her know that this will help with handling insurance issues, etc.

As far as mentioning your concerns in front of your mother, you could write the doctor a letter before her appointment telling him or her of your concerns. At least that would put the doctor on alert. But please do see if you can get the HIPAA form signed, or better yet the Power Of Attorney. We all should do that - something drastic can happen to any one of us. Good luck in convincing her.
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Is your mom against the idea of you talking to her doctor? If not, you need to have your mom's Power of Attorney (POA) for healthcare set up. Then your mom's doctor should be able to talk to you, once you get them a copy. Another thing you can do is to fax or write your mom's doctor a letter outlining your concerns, close to the time of her next visit. That will alert the doctor to look for that. Doctors are SO busy these days, you have to point out that stuff to them or they won't even notice.

You can also set up an appointment specifically for getting your mom to agree in front of the doc that it's OK for the doc to talk to you about her healthcare. My mom's doc has a form they had her sign that says it's OK to talk to me. But I also have her healthcare POA.

I talk to my mom all of the time about her weight and eating. She's losing weight and says she has no appetite. I bring her food she likes (high calorie) and make sure she has fresh fruits and veggies all of the time. As folks get older, their taste buds change and their appetites tend to decrease. But there's also medicines docs can give if they lose too much. Good luck!
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