Sally Bernstein: Always on the Move

September 23, 2019

Sally Bernstein has been all around the world. Name a place, and she’s probably been there: she’s traveled through Europe, visited Japan and south- east Asia, ventured down under to Australia and New Zealand, and toured through South America. When asked how many countries she’s actually been to, she can’t answer – there are too many to remember.

But when she’s asked why she wanted to visit so many places around the world, Sally has an answer at the ready. “I wanted to see as much of the world as I could,” she says, “and I wanted to see it when I could.”

Being on the move has been something of a constant in Sally’s life. Originally from a North Dakota town of 6,000 people, she spent two years at the University of North Dakota and two years at the University of Minnesota studying to become a dental hygienist with the encouragement of her father, who was a dentist. When she graduated, Sally made the decision to move to San Mateo even though she didn’t know a soul in the Bay Area. “I wanted to get away from the weather,” she says, laughing.

Sally spent the next 48 years as a dental hygienist, getting to know generations of patients along the way. “I treated parents, their children, and then their children’s children,” she says. “I knew them all.” After retiring, Sally volunteered her time to organizations helping veterans and it quickly became her passion. She belongs to the Daughters of the American Revolution, the American Legion, and donates her time to veteran’s hospitals in the area.

“I always say ‘thank you’ to any veteran I see,” she says. “The way we treat our veterans in this country isn’t right. I want to do whatever I can to help.”

Through it all, Sally never lost her enthusiasm for travel. She visited China in 1971 just as it was opening its doors to the rest of the world. She counts Turkey as one of her most favorite places to visit, saying, “The people there were very nice, and it was an interesting country to see.” Traveling the world also instilled in her an appreciation for what she has in the United States. “You see how others live, the different conditions,” she says. “We have so much here. You appreciate what you have so much more when you get back home.”

Sally now calls Sterling Court home and couldn’t be happier about it. She’s made great friends since moving in last September and enjoys many of the activities and classes that are offered. “I’m a big history buff,” she says, “so I really enjoy the history classes they have here.” She also enjoys the chair yoga classes and spends time on the exercise bikes in the fitness center. Always one to take care of herself, Sally still goes to the gym twice a week.

Living at Sterling Court has other perks, according to Sally. “I love that I don’t have to cook or clean!” she says with a laugh. She’s also thankful for the staff. “I love all the people here, they couldn’t be nicer. You’re here one day, they already know your name.”

Having lived such an eventful and adventurous life already, it’s fair to wonder if Sally has a philosophy she espouses or a mantra to live by. Turns out she does, and it applies to her perfectly.

“You just have to keep moving,” she says. “That’s all.”

How To Find Your Long-Lost Friends

Do you ever think back to your high school days and wonder what happened to a good friend you never saw again after graduation? Or perhaps you were in the military and want to reconnect with the people who served in your unit. Maybe you lost touch with old co-workers years ago and think about what they might be up to these days.

People come and go in our lives all the time, but there are some we wish we’d held onto and stayed in touch with. If you find yourself in this category, there’s hope: today, finding your long-lost friends has never been easier. Here are some tips for starting the journey:

Collect and Gather Information

First things first: before you start, gather and organize all the information you have or can remember about your friend. Their full name, birthdate or approximate age, nicknames, past addresses or phone numbers, old schools, previous employers – all of this can help in your search. If you don’t have any of this information, don’t worry – there are still ways of finding someone. But the more info you have, the easier it will be.

Use Online Search Engines

You know about Google, but you may not know the most effective ways to search within it. Type in the name of your friend in quotation marks – such as “John Smith”– and then add any of the other details you may remember after that. “John Smith” San Francisco, for example. Or “John Smith” US Air Force 1955. You can comb through the results and see if your friend happens to pop up. And if you don’t have any luck with Google, lesser-known search engines such as may yield different results.

Join Social Media

Nearly 68% of adults in the United States are on Facebook, and the share of older Americans on the site has doubled since 2012. Finding people is relatively easy on Facebook, and there are group pages on the site for high school graduating classes, military units, and more. And if you’re worried about online privacy, there are steps you can take on the site to make your profile more secure. You can learn more about online security at the Sterling Court computer classes offered every Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Bristol Room.

Join Alumni and Military Websites

Many high schools and colleges around the country have their own alumni websites, and there are also all-encompassing sites like that have several alumni classes to look through. Many of these sites have contact information for their members, too. For the military, there are many government websites that house old records, such as the National Archives. There are also sites like the “Buddy Finder” on that are the Armed Forces version of the school alumni sites. Some of these sites cost money to join, so be sure to search around for one that’s free of charge.

Try the Library

If going online doesn’t appeal to you, there’s an old-fashioned option that might work. ReferenceUSA is a database that provides the most up-to-date information you can find about people all over the country. The San Mateo Public Library has access to the service, and you can use it for free with your library card. Librarians will be able to help walk you through the process of searching for your friend, too.

With a little bit of effort, you’ll be reconnecting with your long-lost friends in no time!

Jean Domingues: Still Going Strong

August 5, 2019

Spunky. Spirited. Determined. People have often used these words to describe Jean Domingues, and they all seem to fit – for good reason.

“I’m the oldest of 16 children,” Jean explained while sitting in her Sterling Court apartment. “You had to be strong-willed.”

Jean grew up on her family’s farm in Minnesota, but she had a bigger dream in mind: working for the airlines. She decided she wanted to move to California to make her dream happen. When her mother asked her why she thought she’d be able to get a job with an airline so easily, Jean displayed a dose of her trademark determination, telling her mother, “I don’t think I will—I know I will,” Jean said with a smile.

Her “go-get-it” attitude served her well in pursuit of her dream. United Airlines wanted to hire her, but insisted she move to Atlanta to work. Jean refused, more than once. “I’d been to Atlanta and didn’t enjoy it,” she said, “I wanted to come to California.”

United eventually relented, and Jean began working in the airline’s dispatch office at SFO. Although she left her job with United just a few years later, Jean had the good fortune of meeting her husband Julian (or “Gus” as everyone called him) while working there. He stayed with United and made a career for himself, while Jean pursued different career paths, including selling Mary Kay cosmetics for many years. “I like to be interested in what I’m doing, and I enjoy the challenge.”

Jean and Gus made the Peninsula their home, living in Burlingame and San Bruno. Together they had five children, and over the years several grandchildren. “I’m not sure how many!” Jean joked, laughing. “I think my parents had about 88 grandchildren. I know I have less than that!”

Gus passed away years ago, and since then, Jean has been staying active and keeping busy. She was a regular mass attendee at St. Robert’s Church in San Bruno, and on her first day at Sterling Court, she encountered one of her neighbors who was a fellow parishioner. “We both looked at each other and said, ‘What are you doing here?’” Each replied, ‘Well, I live here!’

Jean has remained active since moving to Sterling Court last August, taking full advantage of the transportation afforded to residents. “I take the bus everywhere… I like going out and staying busy.” She finds time to enjoy many of the activities that are offered, counting the exercise classes and Wii bowling as her favorites. She’s also made many new friends since moving here, including more people who attended the same church.

Still determined, still spirited, and still spunky – Jean Domingues’ address may have changed, but her personality remains the same. It’s clear that she’s found a home at Sterling Court. “Everybody here has been super nice,” Jean said, reflecting on her time here. “It’s just been unbelievable.

Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Memory Sharp

July 9, 2019

Have you ever struggled to remember the name of an acquaintance, place, or even a favorite TV show? When you go out, do you have trouble recalling whether you turned off the stove or locked your front door? As frustrating as these occurrences may be, they’re also natural.

Minor memory lapses happen to people of all ages, though memory loss can increase with age and become more pronounced over the years.

Thankfully, there are several creative ways to help stave off memory lapses. The next time you find yourself struggling to remember something, try one of these tips and tricks:

Write Tings Down: It sounds obvious, but writing things down – an appointment, the name of someone you just met, etc. – can be a very helpful memory tool. Perhaps try keeping a journal of important dates and names that you can easily refer to; this way, all the information you need will be in one convenient place.

Say Things Out Loud: If you’re having trouble remembering if you’ve completed certain tasks after leaving your home, try saying the task out loud as you’re doing it. For example, say, “I’m turning off the stove” as you turn it off . This gives you an extra verbal reminder when you’re racking your brain later trying to recall whether your stove is off or not. This can also be helpful when meeting someone new. If a person introduces himself as Bill, say, “Nice to meet you, Bill” in response. It will help you recall his name the next time you see him.

Use a Mnemonic Device: A mnemonic is any technique used to help you remember something. For example, when memorizing a list, try grouping the items as an acronym. If you need milk, apples, and cheese at the store, you can jog your memory by grouping them as “MAC” in your mind. Then instead of remembering three things, you only have to remember one word.

Have a Designated “Stuff ” Spot: Are you constantly misplacing your “stuff ,” whether it’s your keys, phone, wallet/purse, etc.? Having a designated area – a table by the front door, or a desk, for example – where you always drop your items when you come home will go a long way in helping you avoid scrambling to find something you need.

Use Visual Images: When learning something new, create a visual image in  your mind to associate with what you’ve learned. It could be something simple, like a picture of a flower if someone’s name is Rose, or something more whimsical. Just make sure it’s memorable so you can associate it with the new thing you’ve learned the next time you need to remember it.

Concentrate and Relax: Plenty of things can be distracting when you’re trying to memorize something new, from a blaring TV screen to background noise on a busy street. Make sure to pay close attention and concentrate on whatever it is you’ll need to remember. It may sound simple, but a lack of initial concentration is a big reason why we can forget things so quickly.

If you still feel as though you’re having memory problems, be sure to rule out other causes of memory loss. If you suspect that you are having memory difficulties, consult your doctor.

Let’s Play a Game… Again!

May 13, 2019

Whether it’s to stay in touch with loved ones, access email, or keep track of appointments, smartphones play an important role for many Sterling Court residents. But there are also several great games for your smartphone that are fun and can help keep your mind sharp – and a variety you can play with your friends.

Mobile games are a great way to pass the time and usually easy to learn. Many of them are free to download and play, too. And if mobile games aren’t your cup of tea, there are a number of great board and card games that you can play with friends and family – you might even find yourself organizing a Sterling Court game night!

You can find these free mobile games by opening the App Store on your smartphone and searching for them by name, while most of the traditional games we mention can be found at toy stores like Five Little Monkeys in Burlingame and Talbots Toyland in San Mateo. And remember, some of these mobile games, while free to download, may ask you if you want to make purchases within the game for extra levels, upgrades, etc. Disregard these prompts and continue to enjoy the games for free. And if you have any questions about downloading games, the Sterling Court computer classes with Juan are a great place to learn.

Mobile Games

Words With Friends: A game very similar to Scrabble that matches you with a randomly selected player or a friend or family member who has also downloaded the game. Challenging and fun, some of the most competitive games can take days to complete. Practice with this game and then join in the Scrabble games at Sterling Court!

Candy Crush: One of the most popular mobile games of all time, Candy Crush is a puzzle game that asks you to match like candy pieces together to clear a level. Beware, because it can be very addicting!

Word Search Pro: If you love working on word search puzzles but don’t want to keep buying puzzle books, try this game instead.

Solitaire: Do you love to play solitaire but don’t have a deck of cards handy? Or are you unable to shuffle cards in order to play? Problem solved! The classic game in all its glory is readily available on your smartphone.

Dots: Simple, fun, and addicting, Dots is a game that challenges you to connect dots of the same color vertically, horizontally, or in a square. It doesn’t sound like much, but it can be incredibly challenging.

Jigsaw Puzzles Real Jigsaws: All the fun of completing a jigsaw puzzle without worrying about where to put it once you’ve completed it. It’s easier on your hands, too.

Traditional Games
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Cranium: Be the first to circle the board by successfully solving puzzles and other challenges that will have you acting, guessing, sculpting, sketching, and humming.

Ticket to Ride: Claim as many North American railway routes as you can by collecting illustrated train cards and reaching more cities than your opponent within a short amount of time.

Bugs in the Kitchen: Set the path and lure the little scuttling bug into your trap before anyone else. No Thanks! A card game where you try to get the lowest score by constantly weighing the potential consequences of picking up a particular card or playing one of your chips.

Liar’s Dice: Outlast your opponents by successfully deceiving them and recognizing when they are bluffing you.

Balderdash: Fool the other players by trying to make them believe your fake answers or definitions represent the truth about obscure words, people, or movies.

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