— AARP Illinois and the Springfield Art Association invite AARP members and their guests to two informative and creative events. On Saturday, Nov. 11, 7-9:30 p.m., AARP Fraud Watch Network: Canvas and Cocktails offers a chance to paint a masterpiece while learning how to guard against scams. On Monday, Nov. 20, 6-8:30 p.m., AARP I Love Caregivers: Fall Landscapes offers an opportunity to share best practices for caregiving while applying fall colors to canvas. The events are free but registration is …

— After a great 2014 Where We Met 2000 of You…   We will continue to offer the wildly  popular free AARP TEK Workshops in 2015 to help close the technology gap among people 50-plus. These workshops will be hosted in several cities across the nation, including Chicago and at AARP’s Life@50+ National Event in Miami on May 14–16. The workshops will include the familiar “Intro to Smartphones/Tablets,” and “Staying Connected with Social Media,” along with the new “Beyond the Basics: …

— AARP Illinois has teamed up with Microsoft Corp. to offer free computer classes for AARP members. Held at the Microsoft store in Oak Brook, the two-hour classes provide a basic introduction to various programs. Topics include Windows 8.1, PC and online safety, Excel, Word, PowerPoint and photography. Microsoft supplies classroom computers, but participants are welcome to bring in their laptops. “This is a great opportunity for members to update their computer skills—whether to brush up a résumé, put their household …

— Joseph Sjostrom Paula Dianne Butler, 61, is a retired Chicago teaching assistant with no legal background, so she knew that a day in court would be full of surprises. She just wasn’t expecting them to be pleasant. A visit to the Circuit Court of Cook County Elder Justice Center, however, turned her day in court from a fearful experience to a positive one. The center, which opened in September, was expressly designed to enhance access to the court for older …

— This past weekend was a tough one for many Illinois families. In what will go down in history as one of the worst storm systems to hit Illinois in decades, many people lost everything. The Governor has declared 13 Illinois counties as “disaster areas” including Champaign, Grundy, LaSalle, Massac, Tazewell, Washington and Woodford, Douglas, Jasper, Pope, Wabash, Wayne and Will counties. With winter weather right around the corner, and falling temperatures on the horizon, cleanup efforts began in earnest Monday. As the …

— By Lisa Bertagnoli • River Forest resident Anne Clark and her family have felt the pinch of health insurance costs at work and at home. Premiums have steadily increased at the small advertising agency in Chicago where Clark’s husband works. Partly because of that, the 60-employee agency now hires contract workers rather than full-time employees. Their 27-year-old son doesn’t have a full-time job, so he pays the full cost of his insurance premiums. Obtaining better and less expensive health insurance is …