My Mum is 92, and a big issue over the recent Christmas and New Year celebrations with her family and friends, was her inability to hear clearly. While there was a lot of talking and laughing going on, she became a bit withdrawn and upset because she didn't know what was going on. Poor Mum! It was no use saying things like "just soak up the atmosphere Mum". She wanted to hear everything so badly. I felt so useless. She has hearing aids that we get checked regularly, but it is just to the stage where in public places like respite, church, or gatherings of a few or more people, she cannot single out anything that she can clearly understand. One-on-one, she needs to have the person she is talking to face her, so that she can add the cues of seeing their mouth moving. She does have headphones at home for the TV, and a little microphone that a visitor can wear to talk to her. She needed a lot of reassurance that we loved her and really wanted her to be present at all our celebrations. She said that she may as well just stay home because she was no use at all. Well that's definitely not right, Mum. Just your presence is so grounding and reassuring. Just seeing you with us all is all we need. We can talk to you individually, we can put our hand on your shoulder as we go past, ask you if you need anything, and kiss you hello and goodnight after the celebrations are over. All that matters to us is that you are there and comfortable. You might think you're out of place, but you're not. You always have a place, and will always have a place in our hearts.