I think my disabled sister, who is 45 and has a mental age of 11, is an alcoholic

DEAR DEIDRE: I THINK my disabled sister is an alcoholic. She’s 45 and was born with learning difficulties, which means she has a mental age of 11.

She lives independently, with social workers and carers who check in on her. 


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But every day, she goes to the shops and buys bottles of alcohol, and drinks the lot.

She has panic attacks, which her doctor thinks are due to the anxiety issues she suffers, but I believe it’s alcohol withdrawal.

I’m five years older and our parents are deceased. I’ve tried reasoning with her and told her of the dangers, but she won’t stop.

Her social worker says there’s nothing she can do because my sister is an adult.

She’s so vulnerable. How can I help her before she puts herself in danger or drinks herself to death?

DEIDRE SAYS: Caring for someone with a learning disability is a huge responsibility.

You’re watching her self-destruct and nobody is hearing you.

Please talk to her social worker again and, if necessary, go to someone more senior.

You can also contact Mencap (mencap.org.uk) for support.

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