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Radio personality Casey Kasem's family fights over his care

Even many of those Washington residents who don't recognize his name or his face probably recognize Casey Kasem's voice. For decades, he hosted the widely syndicated radio shows "American Top 40" and "Casey's Top 40." He was also the original voice of Shaggy Rogers in Scooby-Doo cartoons and was an announcer on NBC.

Now 81, Kasem is retired and reportedly in poor health. According to his wife, he can hardly move from his bed and is showing signs of dementia. Now, his family members are arguing about how to best take care of him.

Recently, a court denied a request by Kasem's adult children to appoint a temporary conservator to watch over his affairs. According to their complaint, Kasem's wife, their stepmother, has prevented them from seeing him and isolated him from his friends and other family members. A judge denied their request, finding that Kasem is being well taken care of by his wife.

The parties are working out a visitation plan to make sure Kasem's daughters can see him. The court has also called for another hearing before the end of the year to decide on whether Kasem needs a conservator.

Disputes over guardianships and conservatorships for vulnerable adults are not uncommon, and they're becoming more common all the time as the population ages. Many families find their relationships tested when they disagree over the best course of care for their elderly or handicapped loved ones. Standing up for the best interests of a vulnerable loved one takes courage and commitment.

Source: CNN, "Judge rejects conservatorship for Casey Kasem; finds wife taking good care of him," Alan Duke, Nov. 19, 2013

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