Casey Kasem’s Daughter Visits Michigan to Push for Elder Abuse Reform [VIDEO]
Nearly seven years after his death, Casey Kasem's daughter is pushing for legislation that would protect elderly people in their final stage of life. Kerri Kasem became an advocate for elder abuse awareness when she and her siblings entered into a highly public tug of war with their stepmother Jean Kasem over the radio personality's guardianship.
Kerri Kasem has since founded 'Kasem Cares' and 'The Kasem Coalition,' both dedicated to increasing awareness of, and preventing elder abuse in the United States.
Elder Abuse Advocate
Since her father's death in 2014, Kasem's foundations have worked to pass anti-isolation laws in 12 states. Nine other states have adopted similar legislation. She tells WXYZ that the first step in elder abuse typically involves a caregiver removing access to family.
"So a judge will appoint a for-profit guardians, and a guardian only makes money when they have somebody who has a bank account, who has a house," Kasem added. "In abuse, the first step is isolation, so when you isolate somebody, you can abuse them financially."
She says that once access to family members is taken away, unscrupulous caregivers can easily clear a path to financial ruin.
"It goes isolate, over medicate, steal the estate," Kasem tells WDIV. "It's legal, and this can happen to anybody."
Elder Abuse Reform in Michigan
Now Kasem is campaigning for change in her father Casey Kasem's home state of Michigan.
In March of last year, an amendment to guardian law in Michigan was introduced in order to keep guardians' power in check, allowing loved ones to have access to elderly family members regardless of who holds legal control over their care.
Kasem says that passing anti-isolation laws in Michigan will go a long way toward preventing the type of legal wrangling that divided her family during the last years of her father's life.