From the widow's sister:
In my heart of hearts I do not believe there is any way to help her. Over my lifetime I have tried everything. Nothing has ever made a difference. She does her life the way she wants to do her life. If someone can help her I will be grateful.
I guess I was naive to think that the widow's sister could just swoop in and help the widow. Instead of going over to check on her, the sister called her on the phone first. Their short phone conversation ended with the widow abruptly hanging up. I was told that the widow felt 'judged'.
There is something called conservatorship, I think it is, whereby someone is placed in the care of another for, in this case, getting their medical needs met. The widow is not yet far gone enough to be placed in such in arrangement. It's rather grim to think that one just wait until a person is sort of suitably deteriorated before legally being able to obtain help for that person.
The people with whom the widow willingly has contact:
My brother's dippy ex-girlfriend
One of my uncles (an uncle, might I add, from whom she and my father were estranged while dad was alive)
The people from the above group whom the widow will see in person:
My brother and his dippy ex-gf
The widow's son, as it turns out, is already dealing with his father's precarious health issues. It may be he that doesn't have the energy to muster up for the situation with his mother.
I have been involved in two drug interventions in my life. One of them was successful and led to a loved one getting clean. The other was a failure and led to the loved one cutting off contact. I wonder if a medical intervention could be done in the case of the widow? Given that she likes and trusts very few people, it would probably be more stressful for her than it is worth. Even so, I would participate. The widow is a very suspicious person, so I would imagine that she could have a very negative reaction to being confronted, however gently.
I guess we'll have to wait and see how her health issues progress before anything can be done.