Our expert says:
There are no easy answers here, as you know. One major issue has to be the realistic risks to herself and others - if she gets lost, she may not be safe ( for herself or other people ) to drive. Similarly the increasing alcohol intake, which will impair her health, physically and mentally, and her ability to care for herself - and to drive safely. Partly she may be becoming alcoholic, and partyl she may genuinely forget how much she has been drinking.
I suspect there can be a really tragic phase with dementia when the person's intellect and abilities are declinign and for a period, they can recognize that, and it must be terrifying. Drinking, so as to forget that, may be a choice, even if not a safe one.
The alcohol intake and the poor diet will add to the dementia and perhaps hasten the process and its impact.
Official systems are rarely responsive, efficient or sensitive, but there are mechanisms through the Mental Health Act, which a local psychiatrist could advise you about ( and maybe a good GO, especially if she has been seeing the GP ) for someone to be assessed for compulsory admission to a psychiatric facility for assessment and treatment. Once that is under way there are legal procedures, with the resultant psychiatric expert reports, by which someone may be declared legally unfit to manage their own affairs, and someone else can be appointed a legal guardian to do this for them.
Presumably steps could be taken legally, especially if her license has expired, to stop her driving, and that may be good for everyone's safety - but will trouble har as removing a source of her sense of independence.
A Guardian can enable her to spend her money any sensible way she wishes, but could do the actual money handling for her.
How does she have medication without medical access and without regular assessments in person, by a doctor, at least a GP ? Discuss this with the GP, who should stop all medication ( and existing supplies could potentially be removed ) pending a full new assessment which could be arranged in a non-threatening way but as a routine necessity for renewing her prescriptions. And if the meds are for physical reasons, the potential contribution of effects of the meds and side-effects, and of underlying other medical conditions, on her state of mind, need all to be assessed.
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