Featured Evanstonian: Susan Cherco
In honor of Older Americans Month, we’re highlighting Susan Cherco as this week’s Featured Evanstonian.
Susan first became involved with the aging population in 1992, after caring for her mother for the five months in between the time of her stroke and her death. During this time, she became intimately aware of some of the barriers faced by older adults when it comes to healthcare and access to services.
This event changed the direction of Susan’s life. She began working in the elder care field as a geriatric care manager and court-appointed guardian, while earning a master’s degree in Gerontology along the way. Susan also developed an online resource called “Elder Care Helper” with the mission of helping older adults and their family members find the right care by providing information needed for them to become an informed consumer in the long-term care marketplace.
Her volunteer work is extensive and includes serving as a volunteer Ombudsman for the State of Illinois, a volunteer with Meals on Wheels, a member and chair of the Evanston Commission on Aging, and chair of the Age-Friendly Evanston Task Force.
One of her favorite volunteer activities is working as a senior services volunteer at the Levy Senior Center, helping seniors apply for benefits. “I find joy in helping others and seeing the direct positive impacts of my efforts,” said Susan.
Because of her volunteer work and dedication to improving services for the aging population, Susan received the 2020 Aging Well Award from the City of Evanston.
“I am driven by the fact that there seems to be a lot of barriers for many older adults,” said Susan. “I want to help break down those barriers and make it easier for seniors to access services and better navigate the system.”