The recent death of a beloved icon once again brings to light the tragedy of elder abuse. Casey Kasem came into teen households every week through his long-time radio show “American Top 40”. Teens listened intently in the hopes that a boyfriend or girlfriend would send a long distance dedication and to see what number their favorite songs were that week. Those who were not fortunate enough to follow Kasem on “American Top 40” could enjoy his talent as the voice of “Shaggy” in Scooby Doo. Kasem passed away at the age of 82 from the effects of Lewy Body disease which is a form of dementia. It has been reported the Kasem’s wife had removed him from a nursing home and taken him to another state, isolating him from his four children. One of Kasem’s daughters said the removal of Kasem from the nursing home sped up the decline of his condition. Kasem was reportedly without proper medical care for several weeks before his daughter was able to locate him and return him to the hospital where he was found to be suffering from sepsis, bed sores and late-stage dementia. When Kasem was first diagnosed with Lewy Body disease he signed a Critical Care Directive giving his daughter the right to make decisions concerning his medical care in the event he was unable to do so.
SENIOR ABUSE IS MORE COMMON THAN BELIEVED
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In many cases seniors do not report their abuse for fear of retaliation from their abusers or, as in Kasem’s case, because they may not be physically or cognitively able to do so. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports 90 percent of abusers are family members. In the case of Casey Kasem the accused abuser is his wife, someone who is supposed to put the needs of her partner first over any personal wishes and desires. The actor’s wife is accused of secretly removing him from the nursing and taking him to a secluded area. By not seeking proper medical care, the wife’s actions may constitute elder abuse. To date, 47 states have enacted laws to protect seniors from abuse. Nevada is one of them. The law firm of Bernstein and Poisson takes pride in protecting the elderly from abuse. If you or someone you love has been a victim of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation, let the lawyers of Bernstein & Poisson help you. Do not wait for the abuse to stop, as this generally does not happen without help.