WEYERS CAVE — Kerri Kasem, daughter of late Top 40 DJ Casey Kasem, visited the area on Wednesday to speak on elder abuse. Kerri spoke at the 7th annual training of the Greater Augusta Coalition Against Adult Abuse on Wednesday.
The conference was at the Plecker Workforce Center at Blue Ridge Community College. The day started with the film EDITH + EDDIE – A Story of Love and Elder Abuse.
Next, Kasem presented “Isolated: How Casey Kasem’s Family fought, changed the law, and survived.”
Kasem is an American radio personality. She hosted Sixx Sense and The Side Show Countdown with Nikki Sixx.
Kasem and her siblings were banned from seeing or talking to their father, Casey, in the last years of his life. He was isolated and no law prevented the abuse.
Kasem told her family’s story of the struggle to see her father. She talked about early warning signs of abuse, prevention and offered tips on how law enforcement and Adult Protective Services should approach these cases for the victim’s rights to be protected.
“I learned very quickly there are no laws in the U.S. protecting adult children,” she said. “There needs to be stronger laws in this country protecting our elderly.”
Kasem fought to see her father and eventually created the Kasem Cares Visitation Legislation. The bill “provides an open path for family members to ask the court to rule on visitation without incurring the enormous expense and time that comes with a challenge to guardianship or conservatorship,” the website explains. It has passed in 12 states.
Casey Kasem passed away on June 15, 2014 — that day is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and Father’s Day.
During her fight, many people reached out to her via letters saying they were going through the same situation. She hopes the legislation and the Kasem Cares Foundation will help other people.
“I knew there were so many families going through this,” she said. “I couldn’t let them go through that. I knew I had to do something. That’s why I created Kasem Cares.”
The GACAAA conference continued throughout the day with “Making Sense of Cents” with Stephanie Painter, Bank Secrecy Act Manager, and Jordan Weatherholtz, fraud analyst with Dupont Community Credit Union; “SSA Fraud Overview,” with Gavi Simms and David Voland, special agents with the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and “The Derailing of End of Life and Estate Plans: My Mother’s Story of Undue Influence,” with Vera Hailey, magistrate.
For more information on Kasem Cares, go to kasemcares.org.
While I applaud Kerri’s dedication to allowing children legislation to see parents in guardianship, this legislation still requires a lawyer and court approval== and in Illinois, children are still being banned from seeing their elderly parents in a gship. It’s the courts and not the laws that are the problem. jmho.