Justice in Action: Prairie State Legal Services
Tom, a ninety-two year old nursing home resident in Peoria lives with Claire, his 101-year old wife who is suffering from advanced dementia. The couple faced involuntary discharge from the nursing home for nonpayment. Their grandson, who served as their power of attorney, failed to pay the bills and resolve their property issues.
Tom and Claire owned a home that needed to be sold to pay for their nursing home care. Claire did not have the capacity to authorize someone else to act as her agent. Tom turned to Prairie State Legal Services (PSLS) for help. Project attorney Lori Luncsford represented Tom in a limited guardianship for his wife in the sale of their house. The house sold, the nursing home was paid and the couple remains together in the same facility where they are safe and receive good care.
Organized in 1977, Prairie State Legal Services provides legal services to low-income residents of 36 counties in northern and central Illinois. Prairie State has twelve branch offices in Bloomington, Galesburg, Joliet, Kankakee, McHenry, Ottawa, Peoria, Rockford, Rock Island, St Charles, Waukegan and Wheaton. Prairie State Legal Services handled 15,293 cases for low-income families and seniors in 2013.