Like with every area theres a ghetto but 90% of Palatine is safe. The downtown has been newly redone with a fair amount of bars/shopping and places to eat all within walking distance. Though entertainment options are limited, most people who regulate P town are in their 20's and too drunk to realize it. It's close enough to the city and lots of public trans. so you can get to and from easily.
Also, for people who like to exersize outdoors, there is a forest preserve with a long bike/running path that goes through most of the town.
I think Palatine is good for all ages but the downtown is def. geared more towards college kids.