Red Cross introduces new RapidPass online donor health history

October 28, 2015  
Filed under Health & Wellness, News

Red-Cross

 

American Red Cross blood and platelet donors can now help save lives in less time by using the new Red Cross RapidPass online health history system.

RapidPass streamlines the donation experience by allowing donors to complete pre-donation reading and health history questions online from the convenience of a computer at home or work. It became available to donors locally on Oct. 26 and is expected to reduce the time donors with a RapidPass spend at blood drives by up to 15 minutes.

“When people come to donate, they are giving more than blood or platelets – they are also generously giving their time,” said Mary Brant, communications manager, Northern New England Blood Services Region. “RapidPass is a simple, convenient way for Red Cross donors to make the most of their time while helping save lives.”

To get a RapidPass on the day of a blood donation, donors should visit redcrossblood.org/rapidpass, complete all of the questions, then print  their RapidPass or show it on a mobile device when they come to donate.

Though an appointment isn’t needed to use RapidPass, donors are encouraged to make an appointment by using the Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS to further expedite their donation.

How to donate blood

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

 

Laundry Problems, Mistakes and Mysteries

October 28, 2015  
Filed under Blogs

laundryBY MARY HUNT

 

Laundry challenges, it seems, come in every size, shape and intensity. Rather than thinking there is no solution for that stain, shrunken item or other laundry disaster, consider the ways your fellow readers have found to recover and renew situations gone terribly wrong.

MELTED-ON CRAYON STAINS. With so many restaurants giving the kids crayons to keep them occupied while waiting for the meal to arrive, we have had to learn how to remove crayons from clothes that have inadvertently made their way through both the washer and dryer. Melted-on crayon can be removed by first applying WD-40 to the area, working it into the stain with your fingers. Once the WD-40 has begun to break down the petroleum base of the crayon, apply concentrated detergent to remove both the stain and the WD-40. Put back into the washer and launder as usual. It works like a charm. — Andrea

UNSHRINKING WOOL. Don’t be too quick to toss out that favorite sweater that just got shrunk in the hot wash. Chances are you good you can un-shrink it! Mix a solution of one-gallon lukewarm water and two tablespoons baby shampoo. Soak the shrunken garment for about ten minutes. Now the important part: Don`t rinse! Simply blot out all the excess water with a dry towel and very gently lay it flat on a fresh towel. Reshape slowly and carefully stretch it back to its original size. Dry out of direct sunlight or heat. This tip comes from the Wool Bureau who verifies this technique will work provided the fibers have not become permanently damaged. –Mary

LAUNDRY ACCOUNT. I put a piggy bank on the shelf above my washer. Whenever I find money in the washer or dryer, I put it in there. I figure by the time I need to buy a new washer or dryer, I have a nice down payment in the bank. Nobody has ever missed the money they left in their pants. –Eliana

HIDE THEN SEEK. Those tags on the back of your neck can really bug you. If you cut them off and throw them away, you could launder the garment wrong. That’s why I cut the tag then sew into a pocket or the inside seam. Now I play hide-and-seek but I don’t shrink any more clothes. –Bella

TARGETED TREATMENT. My four kids have lots of T-shirts, which are mostly white, but with pictures or colored trim. They can’t be bleached when the kids have a spill, which is about every day. I have discovered that I can apply a gel cleaner with bleach (as usually used on counter tops) directly to the stain and the stain will come out, but the gel formula keeps any other part of the shirt from being bleached. I have been doing this for about a month, with great success, and no damage to the material. –Suzanne

PITCH OUT. It’s woodcutting time at our house and the pitch is coming in with the wood. We rub automotive hand cleaner onto the pitch then launder as usual. Those work clothes look as good as new! –Bud

OLD YELLOWED LINENS. I found a box of my mother-in-law’s old table linens that were very yellowed from age. I soaked the linens in Iron Out for about 20 minutes and then added laundry detergent, washing as usual. Everything came out sparkling clean, almost as if new. I plan on trying it on her wedding gown, too. –Morgan

Thanks guys, for sharing all of these great tips, trick and laundry solutions.

Would you like more information? Log on to EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of “Debt-Proof Living,” released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM

Triple Punch for Laundry Stains Plus DIY Coffee Creamer

October 27, 2015  
Filed under Blogs

 

Laundry-TiredBY MARY HUNT

Dear Mary: I read in a recent column that I could use Cascade automatic dishwasher powder in my washing machine to remove grease, ground-in red dirt and even old stains not removed in previous washes. That sounds like just the ticket for me, as I have a husband who can get his work clothes dirtier than any child I have ever seen. This begs the question though, and the reason for the email:

First, can I use this powder in my high efficiency (HE) top load washer? Second, do I use it along with my regular HE detergent, or instead of? Since I already purchased the Cascade powder, I am anxious to give it a try. Thank you for your excellent column. I look forward to reading it every day. –Suzie

Dear Suzie: The quick answer is: yes! You would use Cascade powder (about 1/2 cup per load in the wash cycle) in addition to and right along with your regular HE detergent and the hottest water the clothes can handle. For an additional boost, add 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda as well. Now you’ve got a triple punch to attack those stains.

If the additional products will not fit into the washer’s detergent dispenser, put the Cascade into the detergent compartment then dissolve your regular HE detergent and the washing soda in a quart of hot water and add this to the clothes before you close the lid. You could use this method even if your HE were a front-loading machine.

Cascade automatic dishwashing powder is completely suds-free, suds being the enemy of HE washing machines. And it is powerful when it comes to removing dirt and many stains both from dishes and laundry!

If your washing machine will allow you to put it on “pause” without draining, hit pause several minutes into the wash cycle, once the detergents have been dissolved and well incorporated into the clothes. Allowing those dirty clothes to soak for several hours, or as long as your machine will allow without canceling and draining (you may have to experiment a bit here), will let that detergent combo do its best work.

I’m anxious to hear how this works for you. I’ve had excellent results over the years and I’m confident you’ll experience the same.

 

Dear Mary: I am a big coffee drinker and love powdered coffee creamer. Do you have a good recipe for French vanilla coffee creamer? I’d love to know how to make it myself. Thank you. –Pamela

Dear Pamela: I do have a recipe for you to try. I can’t guarantee it will be exactly like your favorite commercial creamer, but it will not have any chemicals, high-fructose corn syrup or other mystery ingredients. Actually, I think it will be better. I have two recipes: one for powdered creamer and another for a liquid version.

By the way, “French vanilla” has nothing to do with the type of vanilla bean, but rather the method for making vanilla ice cream using an egg-custard base. That’s where the term “French vanilla” came from. When it comes to coffee creamer, vanilla is vanilla the world over. Oui?

Powdered Vanilla Coffee Creamer:

–4 cups whole milk powder (not to be confused with nonfat dry milk)

–1 cup vanilla sugar, powdered (optional)**

–3 teaspoons coconut oil, melted

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Use a fork to mix well, until the coconut oil is well incorporated. Place in an airtight container. Store on pantry shelf.

*To make vanilla sugar, place two cups while granulated sugar in a bowl that has a well-sealing lid. Cut one whole vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the sugar using the blunt edge of the knife. Bury the scraped bean into the sugar (cut it into pieces if needed to fit). Stir to mix and seal the bowl so it is airtight. Wait for two weeks to allow the sugar to become infused with the flavorful vanilla. To use: Remove the amount of vanilla sugar you need, leaving the scraped bean parts in the bowl. Replace the amount of sugar you removed with fresh granulated white sugar. Replace the lid. Shake to mix. It will be ready in two weeks to use again.

**To “powder” sugar, place it in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the sugar turns to powder.

–Liquid Vanilla Coffee Creamer

–1 can (14 oz.) fat-free sweetened condensed milk

–1 1/2 cups fat-free milk (skim)

–2 teaspoons good vanilla extract

Combine all three ingredients in a quart-size Mason jar. Add lid and shake vigorously. Use within one week.

Enjoy!

COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM

 Purr-fect Solution for a Stinky Cat Litter Box

October 26, 2015  
Filed under Blogs

cat litterboxBY MARY HUNT

Dear Mary: I am a new reader and I’m getting so many good ideas from your column. Thank you! I believe I read in a recent column about a super litter-box deodorizer. My interest is prompted by the fact that our daughter is moving in with us soon and she has two cats. — Your new faithful reader, Heather

Dear Heather: There are few odors more difficult to control than those that come with a cat litter box. Until someone figures out how to potty-train cats (including teaching them to flush), the next best option is Nok-Out.

The location of the litter box is important. It should be away from doors and windows, as far from family and food activities as possible. Cats want privacy, so this rules out the kitchen or other high-activity areas.

The size of the litter box and the emptying frequency are both important. If the bottom of the box becomes too soiled, or the smell of urine too concentrated because the box has a cover; if the box is too small, or if there are too many cats per box, your new house guests may choose a spot near the box, and opt out of using the box altogether.

Once you are sure that the cats love their litter, the box is well-placed and everything appears to be going well (save for that horrible odor), you’re ready to put Nok-Out to work.

Spray Nok-Out on the bottom of the clean litter box each and every time you change and clean the box, which should be frequently. Nok-Out is ideal here because other cleaners leave a disinfectant or masking odor that repels cats.

Next, fill the box with you litter of choice and lightly spray the top of the litter with Nok-Out. Every time you remove solid wastes, spray the litter again with Nok-Out. Nok-Out is odor-free and leaves no smells that will offend the cats, but it does have residual effects that continue to combat odors long after it dries. And it will extend the life of your litter because the box will remain sanitary and clean. That’s because Nok-Out destroys bacteria, viruses, fungus spores and germs that cause odor and can create disease and other problems.

By the way, Nok-Out is going through a brand name change to SNiPER (only the name, not the product, is changing). So whether you see SNiPER or Nok-Out when you go to NokOut.com, you can be confident that when used properly, Nok-Out will make your life much easier as you welcome these pets to your home. You’ll save 10 percent off your order if you use coupon code DPL at checkout.

 

Dear Mary: Hi, there. I have been an avid reader of Everyday Cheapskate for years now. Lots of your tips helped me more than I can say. I just read the tip about removing burnt coffee in a coffee carafe using ice cubes and salt. Why not use denture tablets, and let it soak overnight? It works great. After soaking, in the morning, I pour the water down the garbage disposal. Once again, thanks for all the advice and great tips. — Stacie

Dear Stacie: You are so right that denture tablets work wonders to remove burned and stuck-on things in pots, pans and carafes. That is, until you take two things into consideration: Time and money. A denture tablet costs about 10 cents, and the method requires an overnight soak. Ice and salt is all but free and take about three minutes flat to accomplish the same thing. I’m fond of the fast and free method. Thanks for your loyalty, love and support.

COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM

 

Lyric’s ‘White Christmas the Musical’ Welcomes WWII Veterans

October 23, 2015  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

lyric theater

 The Lyric Theatre Company of Vermont welcomes local World War II veterans as VIP guests for the Saturday, Nov. 14 matinee of Irving Berlin’s iconic musical “White Christmas” at the Flynn Theatre. “We wanted to honor this valued group of veterans,” said show co-producer Sarah Tischler. “The plot of the play centers around veterans struggling to adjust to life after returning home from war, a theme that continues to resonate with all generations of the veterans’ community. ”

Made famous by the iconic 1950s movie of the same name, “White Christmas the Musical”  includes 17 classic Berlin songs including “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing,” “Blue Skies,” “Sisters,”  “Count Your Blessings” and “White Christmas.” The musical tells the story of a couple of WWII veterans with a successful song and dance act, a duo of beautiful singing sisters and a former army general suffering from post-war malaise who owns a struggling Vermont country inn.

Thirty VIP seats for WWII veterans for the Saturday matinee performance on Nov. 14 are available by advance reservation on a first-come, first-served basis.  Contact the Lyric Theatre office at 658-1484 to reserve a complimentary seat.

The Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation, which  has been chosen as the official community partner for the production,  will have an information table in the lobby of the Flynn Theatre during the show. For tickets to show, with performances Nov. 12-15,  call 1-800-86-FLYNN or visit www.flynntix.org.

 

Instant Relief for the Pressure of Gift-Giving

October 23, 2015  
Filed under Blogs

giftBY MARY HUNT

Without a doubt, autumn is my favorite season of the year. When the calendar flips to November, I know that the greatest show on Earth is in full release. The spectacle of autumn never fails to take my breath away.

In the midst of all of the joy and beauty of autumn, it’s easy to ignore another season that arrived at just about the same time. I’m talking about the year’s biggest gift-giving season — the season that makes us hope that if we ignore it hard enough, it will go away — which is about the best definition for procrastination that I’ve ever heard. I can promise you it will not work.

Choosing to not think about the gift-giving aspect of Christmas and Hanukkah until later — much later — will not do one thing to make it go away. The longer you wait, the harder, more pressure-filled and infinitely more expensive it will be for you.

START NOW. The best way to relieve the pressure of the holidays is to get started early. If you’re going to make your gifts, let’s get going! And if you’ll be buying gifts, start now. Try to buy two gifts a week — or on some other schedule that works well for you.

SET A BUDGET. You know how much money you have to spend. Make a decision right now that no matter what, you will not exceed that amount — even if that means making gifts, or perhaps even foregoing gifts this year in favor of a special greeting card in which you have written a heartfelt and personal message to the recipient. The goal is to put the brakes on using your future income to cover your current needs and gifting desires. That’s never a good idea.

LOOK FOR VALUE. To give you a little nudge and to get your creative juices flowing — and to show you that the price of a gift does not necessarily its value make — I’ve put together a gift guide of fantastic gift ideas at prices that might knock you out — if the colors of autumn have not done that already. You’ll find that list at www.EverydayCheapskate.com/GiftGiving — whether you take a look at my list or come up with one of your own, remember that it’s not the amount of money you spend, but the message your gift conveys to that special person in your life that matters.

What I love is that regardless of what you do in response to this column, I’ve already accomplished my goal of getting you to start thinking about your holiday gift giving. Now just try to get that out of your mind!

I’ve seen Paris in April, California in summer. I’ve been to the top of the Alps and witnessed an eclipse of the moon over Yosemite’s Half Dome. Of all the beauty I’ve been blessed in my life to see, nothing compares the beauty of autumn in New England. In mid-October that is exactly where I was — free of holiday pressure and ready to take it all in, one spectacular view after another until the show closes for yet another year.            Would you like more information? Log on to EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of “Debt-Proof Living,” released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM

Families can help keep seniors out of the hospital

October 23, 2015  
Filed under Health & Wellness

hospital

 

As flu season begins, the risk of area seniors being hospitalized increases significantly. But many hospitalizations can be avoided with preventative measures.

A critical factor in reducing this spike in hospitalizations is family involvement. Knowing that a hospital stay can actually lead to more serious health declines, local senior care experts are mounting an informational campaign to educate families and decrease hospitalizations so that seniors may remain at home and healthy year-round.

“Keeping seniors safe at home and out of the hospital starts with family intervention,” said Patrice Thabault owner of the Home Instead Senior Care franchise serving Chittenden and surrounding counties. “It could be as simple as making sure your parents are using assistive equipment to avoid falls or suggesting they see a doctor for any new aches or symptoms.”

The most common action by seniors that puts them at risk of hospitalization is waiting too long to seek medical attention, according to the nurses surveyed in a recent study. They estimate that nearly half of all seniors put off medical appointments or have problems accessing medical care.

“Not following doctor’s orders also puts seniors at risk,” Thabault said. “Families play a critical role in making sure they fully understand and comply with medical instructions.”

To help families identify and act on potential warning signs, Home Instead Senior Care is offering The Five Ways to Prevent Senior Hospitalizations guide, developed with Dr. Carolyn Clevenger, incoming president of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association. The free guide includes information about common risk factors and the steps that families can take to help ensure a healthy lifestyle.

The recommendations include:

–Make sure seniors are taking preventative health measures, like getting a flu shot or shingles vaccination

–Encourage the use of assistive equipment

–Monitor and/or assist with medications

–Attend doctor’s visits and be a medical advocate for your senior

– Assess your senior’s balance

–Make sure your senior is able to safely drive

–Check in on aging loved ones regularly

 

10 Changes to Save $500 Per Month

October 21, 2015  
Filed under Blogs

moneyBY MARY HUNT

Ignorance may be bliss in some areas of life, but your money is not one of them. You need to know where your money goes, and then develop a strong will and determination to take control of it.

Today I want to show you ten simple changes the typical reader can make to recover more than $500 in this month, as well as every month in the future.

CUT OUT NEEDLESS TRIPS. It’s the short, spontaneous, unplanned trips to run errands that suck the gas tank dry. Cutting out five needless trips a week will reduce your gasoline consumption by five gallons per week ($15) and add up to monthly savings of $60.

DOWNGRADE TO BASIC. Have you noticed your premium cable package creeping toward $100 a month? If you’re not there now, you will be in time. Change your cable package from premium to basic and expect a net per month savings of $60.       D.I.Y. LATTES. Instead of handing over $3 every work day for a fancy coffee drink, make your own at home or at your desk. After paying $7 twice a month for a pound of coffee and $3 for a gallon of milk, you’ll come to a realization of a net savings of $40.

CANCEL THE GYM. Why pay $45 a month to work out when you can get the best workout of all for free! Just grab your walking shoes and get going. Or borrow workout videos from the library and workout at home. Net monthly savings: $45.

EAT THE SALES. As you shop for groceries, stop putting anything in your grocery cart that is not on sale. Got it? Great, because that will net at least $50 savings each month.

SWITCH TO TAP WATER. Stop spending $1 a day for 1.5 liter bottle of water. Drink it free from the tap. Monthly savings: $30.

REPLACE DESSERT. Notice I did not save give up dessert, simply replace a $5 restaurant dessert with a $.75 candy bar. But go easy. Once a week is more than enough and will save you $17 in a month.

TRADE DINNER FOR BREAKFAST. Dinner for two in a typical restaurant now costs about $40. Breakfast for two: $15. Make this switch twice a month and save $50.         TRACK YOUR SPENDING. By simply writing down how you spend your money, experts say you will recover the 10 percent of your net income that disappears through impulsive purchases. Net savings each month: $200.

GIVE IT UP. Vow to give up one vice. Come on, even if it’s a challenge seeing how much you save by not smoking, not drinking a 6-pack of beer every weekend or not getting your nails done every week. Maybe you can try mowing your own lawn or washing the car. Whatever it is, determine to give up one thing and you will net at least $25.

There you have it, 10 simple changes that will net you more than $500 each month! You could use the money, right? Well then, what are you waiting for?    Remember, it’s the money you don’t spend every month that ultimately will give you the freedom to live the life you love! That’s the subject of my new book, “Live Your Life for Half the Price,” available wherever books are sold. Get it!

COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM

How to Remove Years of Kitchen Cabinet Grit and Grime

October 20, 2015  
Filed under Blogs

550px-Clean-Grease-Buildup-from-Kitchen-Cabinets-with-Greased-Lightning-Step-3

 

BY MARY HUNT

When did you last look at your kitchen cabinets? Not a passing glance, but an up-close visual study — paying particular attention to the areas around the knobs and handles that get touched thousands of times throughout the weeks and months? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about — and what I’m pretty sure Reader Sandy is talking about, too.

Dear Mary: We’re moving into a new house and would like to know what kind of cleaner to use on the wood kitchen cabinets? Thank you. -Sandy

Dear Sandy: If you are looking for a commercial product to clean those cabinets, you’ll never beat the effectiveness of real orange oil polish to melt away grease, grime, polish and wax buildup, leaving a fresh scent and beauty in its place. At about $12 for 16 ounces, it’s going to cost a bit to do your entire kitchen, should you decide to go the commercial route.

Or you can make your own cleaner that will be equally effective, for just pennies. That’s what I prefer and I’ll bet you do too.

I have two recipes for your wood cabinets: The first is great if those cabinets just need some sprucing up to bring back the beauty and shine; the second is more powerful if you’re looking at years of built-up gunk and grime.

Recipe 1): In a spray bottle, mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 4 tablespoons of white vinegar and enough warm water to fill the bottle. Shake it to mix, then spray it on one door or drawer front at a time. Scrub with a soft cloth to remove any dirt, then buff to a beautiful shine. Before each spray, give the bottle a shake to keep the oil mixed in.

Recipe 2): In a small bowl, measure out 1 part vegetable oil and 2 parts baking soda (for example 2 tablespoons oil and 4 tablespoons baking soda — or 1 cup oil to 2 cups baking soda depending on the size of your job).

Using your fingers, mix this into a thick paste. Squish and spread this a little bit at a time into the surface of that grimy cabinet, being particularly mindful of the areas close to the handles that receive so much handling and human contact.

Scrub with a soft cloth or sponge to get this paste into the grain. Use an old toothbrush to get it into all of the nooks and crannies. This paste is very thick, and as you begin to scrub and brush, it will fall off, along with a lot of grime. It could get disgusting and that’s what you want — to get rid of it! Buff well with a soft cloth then step back to admire your beautiful work.

You can always add a few drops of essential oil to your homemade cleaners — orange or lemon would be a great choice — and that will leave a wonderful clean scent.

NOTE: While I have cautioned readers in the past to avoid using white vinegar on hardwood floors — or any wood application — because over time the acid in the vinegar is going to permanently dull the finish, using vinegar in the recipe above is not going to create a problem. First, because you are using oil along with the vinegar to protect and retain the finish and secondly, because this is a cleaner you would use only occasionally, not routinely in the way you would clean hardwood floors.

In an upcoming column I’ll share the best homemade recipe for cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors. While you wait, go clean those cabinets!

COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM

Study compares traditional and modern views of aging

October 20, 2015  
Filed under News

agingface2

Traditional societies may see the aging process in a more positive light than modern societies, according to a Cornell researcher in a recent study published in the Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Science.

“There have been anecdotal reports and theoretical reasoning that people in traditional societies look at aging more favorably,” said Corinna Löckenhoff, associate professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology and associate professor of gerontology in medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. However, this is the first study of aging perceptions to gather quantitative data and to use the same questions across modern and traditional societies, Löckenhoff said.

In the study, the researchers showed participants a photo of a young person and a photo of the same person that had been digitally altered to make him or her look older. Participants were then asked a series of questions to assess their attitudes toward aging. These questions tested such perceptions of aging as respect received (whose opinion is more respected?); wisdom; life satisfaction (who is more satisfied with their life?); memory (who is more forgetful?); and new learning. In response, participants were asked to point at the older or younger face.

The researchers found that Tsimané Amazonian forager-farmers viewed old people as having better memories than young people, while people in Poland and the United States viewed the young as having better memories. They found that across the different societies there was consensus that older people are more respected and perceived as wiser than younger people, and that in general, participants perceived aging as more detrimental to women than men, Löckenhoff said. But Tsimane’ participants differed from their industrial counterparts in perceptions of memory. While the participants from industrialized nations held negative beliefs of aging and memory, the Tsimane’ people felt the elderly had better memories.

“There are reasons to think that traditional societies would have more positive beliefs about aging and memory,” Löckenhoff said. Modern societies no longer rely on oral traditions where older people serve as repositories of culture and knowledge, she said, whereas traditional societies still value experience-based knowledge.

The findings are important for traditional societies to ensure their attitudes toward older adults do not suffer as they increasingly modernize, Löckenhoff said. And for modern societies, the findings shed light on how culture and context can have an influence on the way that aging is seen and that in turn can affect how people age, she said.

For example, there is evidence that stereotypes about aging affect older people. This phenomenon is known as stereotype threat, where negative stereotypes about certain groups – such as the notion that the elderly have poor memories – can affect performance. “Older people could be doing better if they were not pulled down by stereotype threat,” Löckenhoff noted.

Next steps in this research will be to test if older people’s memories are actually working better in the Tsimané culture and if other traditional societies show similar patterns, she added.

Löckenhoff is co-author of the paper with Piotr Sorokowski, Tomasz Frackowiak and Agnieszka Sorokowska, all at the University of Wroclaw, Poland. While the Polish group did all the fieldwork and collected data, Löckenhoff provided the theoretical underpinnings and study-design considerations.

The study was funded by the Polish National Science Centre and the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

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