Preparing to Age Well – The 5 Worst Mistakes You Can Make

My mom passed after a 12-year battle with dementia at the same time I left a glamorous PR career to start a senior care placement agency. Although scary at first, it gave me immense purpose and satisfaction helping families navigate through one of the most complex and chaotic times in their lives.

Here are the five most common mistakes I see people make when considering care options:

  1. FOLLOWING A FRIEND – Taking a friend or neighbor’s recommendation for restaurants is fine — it’s a terrible idea for senior care. We wouldn’t take the same medication as a friend because it works for them — the same holds true for assisted living and memory care. One size does not fit all. Communities also change when staff changes.
  2. UNDERESTIMATING YOUR NEEDS – Families downplay or are in denial of the level of care their loved one needs, or that it is no longer safe to stay home.
  3. WAITING TOO LONG – Families don’t act soon enough and a parent injures themselves. Falls are the #1 risk that creates a decline in quality of life and often leads to an earlier death.
  4. JUDGING A COMMUNITY BY ITS LOOKS – Don’t choose a community based on how nice the décor is and put the quality or appropriateness of care in second place.
  5. NAVIGATING OPTIONS ALONE – This is a complicated web of government regulations requiring immense knowledge of healthcare, the law, financial planning, and aging – there’s no more important a decision than the care of a loved one. I have 7 years of credentials, stay current on every-changing state regulations, continuously visit communities, and have 1000’s of hours circumnavigating the Medicare and healthcare system. Professional help is no cost to you and could literally be a matter of life and death.

Jacqui Clark is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) with CarePatrol, an industry leading living-and-aging well expert, and a respected communications specialist. She’s lived in San Diego for 33 years, much of that in Carlsbad where she and her husband live with their two daughters. Find Jacqui at

To hear our full interview with Jacqui Clark from CarePatrol, be sure to listen here: