DEAR ABBY: I had to comment on the letter from "R.H.G.," whose mother refuses to wear a hearing aid because she thinks it will make her "old." If she tries one matter-of-factly and refuses to let it change her lifestyle, hardly anyone will even notice it.
I am a male who lost my hearing at age 5, and got my first hearing aid, a clunky body-worn thing, at age 13. My parents were positive that I was frail and weak, so school was all academics and no athletics until I left home for college and started making up for lost time. Of course, I couldn't wear the hearing aid while playing basketball or wrestling, but my teammates and partners had no problem with speaking louder when necessary.
I have been coaching high school and youth league wrestling teams for the last 20 years. My current hearing aid is a behind-the-ear model that I take off and put back on several times at every practice, yet even some of the wrestlers with whom I have worked the most closely have failed to notice the aid for years until I happened to mention it.
"R.H.G.'s" mother could style her hair to conceal a hearing aid, but the best and most effective "cover-up" she can use will be to lead an active life and treat the hearing aid like any other routine item of clothing. -- NAMELESS, PLEASE
DEAR NAMELESS: In this case, the woman's attitude impairment is more disabling than her hearing impairment. I hope she sees your letter.