Engaging in New Hobbies for Health and Happiness

May 24, 2018
Find a Furry Friend

Pets offer companionship, a purpose, and have been shown to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Furry friends also encourage exercise since they require walks or daily play and interaction to stay fit and active. They also contribute to boosting social interaction since they are natural ice breakers. Birds, cats, and small dogs are welcome at Sterling Court, so consider adding an animal companion to your home today.

Unlock Your Inner Artist

1Artistic ventures encompass a variety of hobbies that provide excellent health benefits. Knitting, scrapbooking, journaling, painting, and pottery are all activities that encourage mental focus and stimulation while also providing relaxation. The act of creating is also linked to self-esteem, especially as you see your artistic skills improve with each effort. Even better, making art with friends folds a social element into the hobby, keeping you connected to fellow hobbyists and creating an environment ideal for teaching, learning, and advancing your talents. Sterling Court offers a multitude of art classes that you can sign up for – take a look at our calendar on page 4 to see which classes suit you.

Explore the Virtues of Volunteering

Volunteering is a hobby that pays returns twofold – to the recipient of your services and to you. Research has shown that the positive effects of volunteering include reduced rates of depression and isolation and increased emotional stability. The National Institute on Aging has reported that participating in purposeful engagements like volunteering can even lower the risk of chronic health issues and improve longevity.

Tutoring a younger generation, assisting neighbors with household tasks and errands, or volunteering with animals or at a cultural institution are just a few ways you can dedicate your time and effort to your surrounding community.

Try Your Hand at Cards

Whether an actual card game, like bridge, or another activity like Scrabble or bingo, playing games is a great hobby for socializing and keeping sharp. Research shows that seniors who regularly participate in mentally stimulating games have healthier brains and better recall than those who do not. Scientific studies have also shown that those who utilize their brains in this way can build up brainsaving reserves that help delay the effects of Alzheimer’s and allow for a longer, healthier life.

SterlingCourt79329MPJAt Sterling Court, we offer a full calendar of activities that cover a variety of interests – from history lectures to floristry demonstrations to Rummikub. Schedule time to participate in your favorite activity or take time to explore something new that you may not have tried before. You’ll gain the positive benefits that accompany engaging in a hobby and may even uncover a hidden talent in the process!

Read this article and more in our May newsletter.

What is Cinco de Mayo?

May 5, 2018

Cinco de Mayo

000Cinco de Mayo, or the Fifth of May, is a celebration of the winning of the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. In 1862, a small army of approximately 2,000 men led by General Zaragoza overcame the French army of more than 6,000 soldiers. This battle wasn’t an end to the war, but it was an encouragement that rallied more support for  the Mexican army.

The celebration of Cinco de Mayo is often confused as being Mexico’s Independence Day. The war for Mexican independence from Spain began in 1810. Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September 18. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with military parades and reenactments of the Battle of Puebla. In the U.S., this day has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture. The celebration includes having parades, listening to mariachi music, dancing, and eating traditional Mexican foods.

Read this article and more in our May newsletter.

May Resident Feature: Ron Kenmotsu

May 1, 2018

Ron Kenmotsu: Proud Father & Patriot

When I meet Ron Kenmotsu, I begin my interview the way I always do, by asking where he was born.

“I was born in Amache, Colorado. That was a Japanese internment camp,” he reports frankly. “I was born right at the beginning of the war. My brother was born two years after me, right toward the end of the war when my family was returning to San Francisco.”

I ask about growing up and what he remembers most about his childhood. Ronald Kenmotsu #301

“I don’t remember any of the camp because I was just a baby,” he tells me. “I grew up in the City. My parents were lucky because when they were sent to camp, their neighbor looked after their home for them, and they were able to return to it. Later, they managed hotels in the City, and we lived at the various hotels, moving frequently.”

Ron attended school in San Francisco and after graduating he joined the Army.

“I was in the Army for 3 years, then I came back and worked for the Federal Reserve in San Francisco and then Wells Fargo,” he says. During that time, he met his wife, Grace, through mutual friends. Grace was in college and determined to finish her degree and teaching credentials before marrying, so the pair dated for 5 years before tying the knot.

Once married, Ron and Grace moved to Foster City, where they raised two sons, Curtis and Derek. Despite his own amazing story, Ron really lights up when speaking about his sons.

“My oldest son is Curtis. He double-majored at UC Irvine and he and his wife, Emi, have my new grandson, Ethan. Ethan’s middle name is Zee, so I call him ‘EZ,’ ” he laughs. “Curtis lives in San Bruno, it’s nice. I just saw the baby last Sunday.”

Through his younger son, Ron’s military service came full circle.

“Derek decided he wanted to go to West Point. He had to have a congressional recommendation, and the whole family got interviewed. He went, and after he graduated he was stationed in Korea. It was kind of weird because we figured out that where he was in Korea was only about 5 miles down the road from where I had served myself all those years before! I visited him there, and he took me to exactly where I was stationed. It was totally different,” he chuckles. “I think the only thing that was the same there was the movie theater!”

Derek went on to serve in Afghanistan, Japan, and Hawaii. He later returned to school for an MBA and eventually took a position at Apple.

I comment that he must be proud of his sons. “Oh yes,” he responds enthusiastically, “they’ve done a lot. They tell me, ‘You took care of us all those years, now it’s our turn to take care of you.’ I would be proud of them no matter what they did. They are good boys,” he smiles.

Read this article and more in our May newsletter.

Why Volunteer?

April 30, 2018

There are many reasons why older adults volunteer. Volunteering is associated with positive human development through giving to the community. It provides a positive self-identity and sense of purpose that might otherwise be absent from an older adult’s life.sterling 

Volunteering is good for the mind, body, and spirit. It counteracts the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety.

Volunteering promotes happiness. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure.

Volunteering helps people stay physically healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not.

Volunteering also brings fun and fulfillment to life. It is an easy way to explore interests and passions. Seniors explore vocation, share their gifts and talents, and bring joy to others.

Read this article and more in our April newsletter.

Stress-Free Travel for Seniors

April 26, 2018

Smooth Sailing: Top Tips for Stress-Free Travel

One of the joys of retirement is finally having the free time to check things off your wish list that you previously only dreamed about. For many, seeing the world tops that list. Travel offers education, experiences, and the opportunity for new friendships that are truly priceless. Whether you want to visit somewhere for the very first time or have a favorite spot you would like to see again, here are a few tips to help ensure your travel experience is as smooth as possible:


Key Documents

Nothing can derail a trip faster than losing your key documents – driver’s license, passport, or credit card. Make photocopies of these and leave them with a trusted friend you can call upon if you find yourself in a jam. You can also snap photos of important documents and digitally store them someplace they can be easily retrieved.

Remember to notify your credit card and cellphone companies about your travel plans so that they do not suspend service over any suspected fraudulent activity.

Health Habits

It’s hard to have fun if you aren’t feeling well, so taking care of your health should be a top priority during your trip. Be sure to drink plenty of water to
stay well hydrated and store necessary vitamins and prescription medications in their original bottles to avoid airport security delays. Pack extra eyeglasses and hearing aid batteries, as replacing these in an unfamiliar city or country may be challenging.

Give your back a break and pack as lightly as possible. Research the weather and pack an abbreviated wardrobe in which key pieces can be used for multiple outfits to cut down on baggage. If you can avoid it, do not check a
bag – you’ll save on bag fees as well as time standing at the baggage claim carousel once you arrive at your destination.

Consider investing in traveler’s insurance. Medicare is not valid outside the U.S. except in very limited circumstances, so it’s important to understand what your supplemental insurance will cover when traveling abroad and plan to fill in any gaps in coverage.

Tech Support

The days of labeling yourself as a tourist by carrying a giant paper map are over. Now, thousands of maps fit right in your pocket via free applications on your smartphone. Gone, too, is the need for a paper translation book, as there are several powerful applications that can translate text and speech for you in real time. Depending on where you are headed, internet and cellphone service may be spotty, so downloading a few key maps and phrases offline as a backup is always wise.

Traveling in the digital age puts a host of conveniences right at your fingertips and planning can help prevent other snafus that may arise. Now is the time to embark on the trip of a lifetime. Start planning your next great
adventure today!


Read this article and more in our April newsletter.

Learn More

We can help with apartment availability and scheduling tours, or send an application for residence. Let us know what you are interested in learning more about and how we can help you!


850 N. El Camino Real San Mateo, CA 94401 Phone: (650) 344-8200 Fax: (650) 344-7395 sarah.stcharles@sterlingcourt.com

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