Elder Abuse – Casey Kasem
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Casey Kasem’s voice has been known across television and radio for decades, most notably on American Top 40 and the original Scooby-Doo. His death in 2014 exposed some disturbing accusations about his final years. Three of Casey’s children and his brother filed a lawsuit against Casey’s widow, Jean Kasem, accusing her of neglecting Casey’s medical needs and hastening his death.
Casey’s declining health due to dementia and other ailments forced him to retire in 2009. Four years later, Jean took Casey to the hospital and did not inform his children. When the children learned of their father’s hospitalization (about a week later), they could only visit their father under supervision by a private security guard hired by Jean. The guard took notes of their conversations. Also, when Casey’s brother visited him, he was required to sign an agreement before each visit.
The children alleged that Casey often went without a hospital bed, intravenous medicine, adequate nutrition, and necessary hospitalization. At one point, Casey’s daughter filed for temporary conservatorship. When Jean heard of this, she removed Casey from the hospital and transported him to a hotel in Santa Monica. Casey received inadequate medical care while in the hotel room.
His children reported Casey missing to the Santa Monica police. He was finally found at a home in Washington state. His daughter Kerri gained control of Casey’s care and had him admitted to a hospital. There, doctors found that Casey was suffering from a urinary tract infection, wound and lung infections, septic shock, and a deep ulcer in his back. He died two weeks later.
The District Attorney found that the evidence was insufficient to charge Jean with elder abuse and neglect. His enduring health problems made it nearly impossible to prove that neglect or abuse contributed to his death. Since the decision, Kerri has organized the Kasem Cares foundation to raise awareness about elder abuse and neglect. Their mission is as follows:
The mission of Kasem Cares is to eliminate all forms of elder abuse, including isolation through education and awareness, support of social change, and community service programs. We are dedicated to fighting elder abuse and protecting the integrity of the family unit through advocacy, and seek to empower and unify individuals and organizations in having a voice to speak up against violence against seniors to help the aging population maintain their independence and dignity.