Open Letter to State Representatives
I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Kerri Kasem. One of your constituents contacted me about the horrible situation she is in. You may be familiar with the story of how my father, radio legend Casey Kasem, was isolated and abused during his last year of life. It was only while ensnared in our tragic family nightmare that I discovered there were no laws protecting the rights of adult children and family members.
Over the last year and a half, hundreds of people who witnessed my family’s torment in the media have contacted me, through emails and social media, detailing similarly horrible situations of isolation or being barred from visiting their loved ones by a falsehearted caretaker. Like me and my siblings, they feel helpless, hopeless and alone.
Imagine the person you love most in the world and you are not allowed to see them. I pray you never go through that experience. But sadly, far too many do every day.
Astoundingly, and all too frequently as I navigated the various courts, I would hear from many within the system say with a feigned sigh and sympathetic tone, “We see this kind of thing all the time.” They acknowledged the cruelty and injustice, yet have done nothing about it.
It was that apathy, along with a desire to transform our growing legion of helpless victims into an empowered advocacy that inspired the formation of the Kasem Cares Foundation and the goal to promote legislation that provides visitation rights to families with ailing loved ones.
The “Visitation 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.
Elder abuse is a silent epidemic affecting thousands of people across the country and ironically, elements of the current laws support the abusers. The Kasem Cares Foundation is waging a state-by-state lobbying campaign to support the “Visitation Bill” or bills with similar components.
We are very proud of our success in Iowa, Texas and California; with California passing the “Visitation Bill” this week!
Just like Governors Branstad of Iowa and Texas Governor Abbott, or Senator’s Hogg and Zaun of Iowa, Rep. Joe Moody of Texas and now Assemblyman Mike Gatto of California, you can become the person that your constituents thank every day for the gift of the final moments they spent with their beloved mother, father or sibling.
Over half our population will soon be qualified as senior citizens and while I can’t bring back my Dad, the Kasem Cares Foundation is devoted to help change the way our society honors and cares for our parents and seniors.
I’d be truly grateful if you would join us in ending the terrible abuse which is isolation. I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you in person to share some ideas on how we may work together to put the “Visitation Bill” in your state.