How do I comfort my elderly grandmother who is always crying wolf?
My 86 year old grandmother is very healthy for a woman in her 80s. Unlike most people her age, she is on no medication and everytime we take her to the doctors' office- they find only minor problems. However, most of her problems are emotional. She thinks everyone in the family is responsible for her happiness; consequently, she wants our attention all of the time. One of the ways that she tries to gain attention is by crying that she's "dying" and wants to be taken to the emergency room at the hospital. Believe me, we have taken her to the ER many times in the past and the doctors found nothing. She is truly just doing this for attention. The one time that she did have a serious medical condition, we found out through other means- not from her whining, crying, or complaining (in other words, she didn't have to make a scene in order for us to know that it's time for us to take her to the doctor's). She had a silent stroke, and the reason we knew was because she was acting a bit more confused than normal. It's a constant battle with her and my father (who just had a malignant brain tumor removed- which my grandmother is completely oblvious to. She thinks he just had this little thing in his head and the doctors took it out). My father loses his temper whenever she starts going on her "I'm dying!" or "take me to the ER!" tirads. Personally I am trying my very best to reach out to her with love and compassion, but it's difficult when all she does is complain about how awful her life is (we all have our problems) and makes it seem like everyone around her has an obligation to keep her happy and fulfilled. What's the best approach to take when she wants to be taken to the hospital or complains about nonexistent or minor ailments merely for attention (please, before someone yells at me for ignoring her cries for help, just believe me when I say that she's not fatally sick when she does this)?