Thursday, August 4, 2011

Elder Law in Evanston

Evanston is a unique community in many respects. Almost 20 years ago, right after graduating from law school, I moved to Evanston. Like many people, I chose Evanston for its beautiful lakefront, and for its diversity. Initially, I noticed the racial and ethnic diversity. With time, however, I began also to appreciate its age diversity. As my law practice began to shift into more elder law work, I volunteered to serve on the Evanston Commission on Aging. In that role, I learned a great deal more about aging in Evanston.

Evanston is unique because it has a large number of senior buildings: including nursing homes, assisted living, independent living, a retirement hotel, and others. In addition, the large number of apartment and condominium buildings has created a number of intergenerational buildings. When my wife and I bought a Co-Op in Evanston, it was mostly smaller apartments, and most of the residents were either young couples, or seniors. It was a great experience.

Living in Evanston can be a great thing for seniors, but it also has some unique challenges. Seniors who have lived in a beautiful old home for many years sometimes find that the burdens of maintaining those homes can become quite difficult. Paying for upkeep and property taxes can be challenging. Seniors with limited means, struggle with the fact that Evanston has a limited number of nursing homes that will accept public aid. Elderly residents new to Evanston sometimes have difficulty learning about services that are available to help.

I have always sought to be a good resource to Evanston residents. Because of my need to appear in court regularly, my office is downtown, with the law firm of Stotis & Baird Chartered. But, Evanston, is my home and I maintain a strong commitment to the community. That commitment includes meeting with clients in Evanston; volunteering with Evanston organizations; speaking in and around Evanston on legal topics of interest to seniors; and keeping track of local resources. I also offer free consultations to Evanston residents. If you have a question, please feel free to call.

The good news for Evanston seniors is that the community cares about its older residents. Some of the best care managers, social workers, lawyers and volunteers have also chosen Evanston as their home. As you get to know the resources that are available, you will also get to know some great people in your neighborhood.

Eric Parker is an Evanston resident and an attorney with the Chicago law firm of Stotis & Baird Chartered. The firm practices law in the areas of elder law, estate planning, wills, trust, real estate and personal injury law. For information please call 312-461-1000, e-mail or visit us on the web at