Kasem Cares Foundation

Coalition for Elder and Dependent Adult Rights

 The Kasem Conference on Aging took place Friday and Saturday.  I spoke on Policies that Encourage Elder Abuse.  Those issues apply equally to abuse of dependent adults.  Send an email for a pdf of my slides. Several speakers spoke on isolation as an indicator of abuse.  San Diego DA Paul Greenwood called isolation the biggest red flag for elder abuse.  Greenwood trains police officers that isolation nearly always accompanies financial and/or physical abuse.    Continue reading

RED FLAGS AND ELDER ABUSER TACTICS

Here's  a list of things abusers do when taking control, isolating and abusing  an elder. The same actions are also taken by guardians, strangers,  caretakers, a family member, banks, lawyers, business employees etc. You are not alone. I've come to the realization that there are common threads in how the abuse is accomplished. Continue reading

EXPERIENCING ISOLATION ABUSE? YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

It happened to me too.  Even though I was a mental health professional and care manager working with older adults.  Even though my husband and I had previously been caring for my grandmother in our home and received rave reviews about the care we were providing.   Isolation abuse happened to us.  Continue reading

Kasem Adds Two States In Fight For Family Rights Laws

  By Matthew Melton Washington State is working to keep the elderly from becoming isolated from their adult children. Two key laws, House Bills 2401 and 2402, were heard before the House Judiciary Committee on January 20, 2016. They would require that an individual be given access to their loved ones, in the event that their elderly family member has a court appointed guardian other than themselves. These laws become critical when considering the amount of corrupt guardians; caregivers who are not looking out for the best interests of the elderly or their families. Washington is just one battle in a larger fight. This is where Kerri Kasem comes in: she is among those championing the aforementioned laws (also known as the “Visitation Bill”). With her father-- the late radio icon Casey Kasem as her inspiration-- she takes the fight personally. To this end, she pours her heart into Kasem Cares and the Kasem Coalition. Kasem Cares is a non-profit focused on ensuring the dignity of the elderly, while the Kasem Coalition focuses solely on lobbying efforts needed to bring about changes in current elderly laws. Continue reading

Guardianship Under Fire

"I strongly urge each of you to click on this link  to learn more about this," says Sam Sugar MD.http://www.ktnv.com/news/contact-13/guardianship-under-fire Continue reading

Kasem Cares outreach event

Colleen Khalifa brought her mad hatter tea party to del Obispo terrace assisted living on behalf of Kasem Cares as a Kasem cares outreach event. She coordinated with Lori Robertson, Life Enrichment Director of Del Obispo Terrace, the event was a huge success with over 25 seniors who had a great time at the game night! Continue reading

THE GIFT OF HOPE!

In the spirit of the season I'd like to remind us of the greatest gift we all possess and that is the blessing of HOPE! Continue reading

LARRY'S STORY

I have gotten stories from every state of our country, but recently I've been flooded with a large amount of stories from residents of the state of Washington who are experiencing isolation and abuse of the vulnerable. Because of their great need to be heard, I'm spotlighting one story a week from Washington State for a month's time. I will continue to do this each month for each state.   As many of you may know, Kerri Kasem, as well as myself, lost our father's, who both suffered from Lewy Body Dementia, in Washington State, after months of isolation and elder abuse. Hopefully the truth of abuse mentioned in these letters, by the citizens of the state experiencing this treatment, will encourage those in power to serve and protect their constituents as they agreed to do when they were voted into office. Continue reading

Here are some things to help you move on to start healing the trauma and start moving forward instead of being stuck

DEAR KATHYBy Kathleen Wright BrawnThe Holidays are here and while it is supposed to be a joyful family time, those of us who have gone through or is going through the trauma of isolation from a loved one, it can be an empty, painful time. I know for myself last Christmas I could barely get out of bed.  I didn't put up a tree or lights and could hardly wait to get home from dinner at my mom's so I could go back to bed. In 2012, my deep depression was triggered by the fact my father's caretaker took my 80 yr old father, who suffered from dementia, back east on Christmas Day. She did this without letting my siblings and I know where they were going or when they were coming back. She refused to answer our calls and emails.  The isolation had started. It's important that all of us who have experienced isolation from a loved one realize they have been traumatized and could later suffer from PTSD. Isolation is a crime not just against our loved one but against the whole family and friends of that loved one.  It is so important to realize that our separation from our loved one will create anxiety. From thoughts of "Is my dad being fed and given his meds" to "Does he think I abandoned him?" Separation can also cause fear, anger, sadness, guilt, confusion.  So many feelings in a large degree can cause your brain to shut down because it can't process thoughts and feelings. This can cause someone to numb out, forget things, lose words to express themselves, act indifferent, or have outburst of tears or anger. These symptoms of trauma can last years, especially if the isolation of the loved one continues. Holidays have major triggers for those feelings to return. Since it's a time for family and traditions that alone will bring memories of missing family members.  Because of this, it is so important to remember that you did not cause this situation. You did not fail your parent. There was nothing you "should have" done or said to prevent what happened. Blaming yourself does nothing.  Here are some things to help you move on to start healing the trauma and start moving forward instead of being stuck: Continue reading

Man’s Best Friend

By Kimberly Martinez What should you pay attention to when choosing a companion for your golden years?  It pretty much comes down to three basic things: 1.    Size, 2.    Energy level, and 3.    Health and temperate history Throughout centuries “man’s best friend” has been reserved as a title for canine companions. But as time progresses and we start to age, the demands of caring for “man’s best friend” can be too much for certain people. Should that mean that we give up on dogs completely? No. It means it’s time to find a dog which suits your current lifestyle. Size means a lot because there will be times you have to physically deal with your dog. From your everyday walk to giving him the affection he needs, physically dealing with a heavier dog may become progressively more difficult. Because of this, size is something you should consider. If you’re living with someone, bigger may be manageable, but if you are alone a smaller dog is probably best. Now, some people automatically assume that if you get a smaller dog it will be less work, but guess what? That’s definitely not true. Most of my life I have had smaller dogs and for the most part, they were easy to handle until my Jack Russell, little “Geronimo.” And let me tell you, his energy is through the roof. I constantly have to be checking on him and making sure he is letting out his stored energy safely, which isn’t always easy. He is living proof that smaller doesn’t mean easier. But if you think you can deal with high energy no matter what then don’t be afraid. You know yourself and what you will be capable of handling. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, is your dog’s health and temperate history. Most people hitting their senior years are on a fixed income while some are living off of their retirement. Why does this matter? Because some dogs are prone to diseases which means having to pay vet bills. If you are low on money, this will eventually put you between a rock and a hard place. When deciding on a dog, make sure you ask about prior health history, along with health concerns about that specific breed. One suggestion that may help you is to get a dog who is already an adult. This will help you determine health history along with temper. Temper will become especially important, especially if you have younger kids around.     Continue reading

Today is a Better You

By: Danielle Hintz In society we are told at a very young age to take advantage of our youth because it will all go downhill as we get older. Sure, aging has it’s challenges.  You may feel that sometimes your mind and body seem to be declining however, I am here to let you know you don’t have to conform to the stereotype of your later years being a negative part of your life. In several ways, life can get better as you get older. For instance, there is evidence that proves our moods and our sense of well-being actually get better as we age. According to Karen Fingerman, a professor of human development and family science at the University of Texas, friendships tend to grow more intimate, as older adults prioritize what matters most to them. You don’t have to accept that old age will get the best of you! Myths say that as you get older you become more prone to depression, unproductiveness, and loneliness have all been proven to be extremely inaccurate, so embrace your age. Dean Keith Simonton, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, says that creativity for many people tends to peak later on in life. Fields requiring accumulated knowledge, such as philosophers and historians, that require accumulated knowledge, “may reach their peak output when they are in their 60s.” Continue reading

October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month Take action and be aware or you’ll have to beware. By Kimberly Martinez When you're young, things that fall on the list of "scary" are probably more related to ghouls and goblins. But as time progresses, the realities of life can be daunting.   In 1989, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 101-112 designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And every year after, the same thing. This came after the realization that so much domestic violence was happening every day but there still wasn’t a fight against it. However, when people hear domestic violence, they mostly think lover quarrels. But did you know there is a relationship between domestic violence and elder abuse? When dealing with the elderly, this abuse then becomes referred to as “domestic violence in later life.” This includes anything from physical abuse by a loved one or caregiver, to financial abuse. So doesn’t October just seem fitting for awareness? A month that includes the one day people dress as their worst nightmares. A day people forget about the true harsh realities and play out fake ones. Continue reading