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Could Home Care Have Saved Casey Kasem?

Casey Kasem is a name known to any “Baby Boomer’ as the person who made “America’s Top 40” one of the most listened-to radio programs ever. He was the voice of Shaggy on “Scooby Doo.” Many people grew up with Kasem and grew old with him too. Despite being a long-time vegan and an opponent of factory farming, Casey Kasem was not in great health at the time of his death.

In 2007, Kasem was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, but the diagnosis was later changed to Lewy Body Dementia. In the last months of his life, the disease claimed his voice and he could no longer speak. Still, Lewy Body Dementia did not kill Casey Kasem. He also had high blood pressure, but he might have lived for some time with that condition. It did not kill him.

So what killed Casey Kasem? The animosity his family members had toward one another led to inconsistency in home care. Kasem was bedridden and needed to be regularly repositioned in bed. He also needed medication monitoring. In the last few years of his life, Kasem’s wife and his children fought over his custody. A court granted his daughter conservatorship, but he could not be located because his wife had secreted him away. When found, he was treated for sepsis caused by an ulcerated bedsore. A bedsore killed Casey Kasem.

Consistent and competent home care might have made his last months bearable. The caregiver could have coordinated family visits and made sure that his needs, both emotional and physical, were met. If the family had put aside their grievances and had secured competent and compassionate home care for the star, his life would have been easier and more comfortable, if not longer.

Fortunately, most of us would put the welfare of our loved ones ahead of any family in-fighting. Securing home care for them can help relieve the pressures brought about by caregiving that often lead to family tension. It can relieve the stress of sandwiching our loved one’s care between family responsibilities and work.

What killed radio legend Casey Kasem? It was a simple bedsore…a bedsore consistent home care might have prevented.


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