Kerri Kasem, the daughter of the late American Top 40 DJ, Casey Kasem, has been on a mission to make sure what happened to her and her siblings does not happen to others. When her father’s health deteri orated from Parkinson’s disease, it sparked an ugly court battle between his children and his wife, Jean Kasem, which did not end until he died. By then, Casey Kasem was suffering from serious bed sores, a urinary tract infection, and sepsis.
Kerri Kasem feels that her father’s death could have been prevented if she and her siblings had been able to see him and monitor his care better, but there were not sufficient protections in the law to help.
Until recently, not a single state in the United States offered specific protection to relatives of loved ones who were under court-ordered guardianship or conservatorship to make sure they could remain in contact with their incompetent loved one. Rather, the person named as guardian or conservator typically controlled visitation and contact, which could include denying contact altogether. That’s still the case in 48 states.