The Kasem Cares Conference on Aging wove together panels of distinguished professionals, heart-wrenching stories, educational presentations and humor this weekend in Costa Mesa, California.

Kasem Cares founder Kerri Kasem took the stage at the national event along with a host of prominent speakers, survivors and celebrities to elevate awareness of elder abuse issues.

California State Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) applauded the Kasem Cares Foundation’s role in the adoption of California’s “Visitation Bill,” which ensures the right of adult children to visit ailing parents. Gatto presented Kasem Cares with the California Assembly’s Certificate of Recognition.

Gatto also praised the efforts of Kasem Cares and its sister organization, the Kasem Coalition, which resulted in adoption of similar legislation in 6 states. The legislation is now pending in some 30 other states. Kasem’s efforts have led to victories in key states such as Iowa, Wisconsin, and Utah, where versions of the Visitation Bill have passed. The bill helps elderly from being isolated from their grown children and other loved ones

Feedback on the conference has been very positive.

San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood applauded the powerful movement growing at the conference. “Kerri Kasem and Kasem Cares are indeed a catalyst bringing together many folks from different backgrounds and perspectives to join in the fight against elder abuse.”

California’s District Attorney’s Association representatives Amanda Martin and Mark Zahner were impressed by the content of the event, and expressed an interest in teaming with Kasem Cares on future programs.

Television celebrity Wink Martindale attended with his wife, Sandy, who experienced elder abuse in her family. Martindale volunteered to play a role in future events.

Actor Martin Kove, who was one of the stars of the Karate Kid movie speaks frequently across the nation on preventing bullying, was on hand to join in the Kasem Cares’ efforts to create awareness about the growing epidemic elder abuse through isolation.

Kelly Rooney, daughter of the late film star Mickey Rooney, spoke at the conference. She and her sister, Kimmy, faced the horrible ordeal of being blocked from contact with their father before his death. The elder Rooney testified before Congress about the issue of elder abuse.

Conference topics included elder abuse, isolation, dementia, red flags, senior scams, healthcare, prosecution, legal advice, education relating to elder care, and aging in place.

Events such as Kasem Cares’ Conference on Aging serve to coordinate the efforts of a wide variety of professionals and mobilize the public to work towards reforms and solutions to elder issues, which is estimated to be a $36 billion a year problem.

The inaugural Kasem Cares Conference on Aging is only one tactic in a broader fight to protect elders and their rights. Kasem Cares is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The mission of Kasem Cares is to eliminate all forms of elder abuse, including isolation, through education and awareness, support of social change, and community service programs. We are dedicated to fighting elder abuse and protecting the integrity of the family unit through advocacy, empowering and unifying individuals and organizations to speak up against violence against seniors, and encouraging and assisting the aging population in maintaining their independence and dignity.