Children Should Be Able To Visit Sick Parents, Shouldn't They?

The State of Iowa is now making sure that children can visit ailing parents, making it automatic to have visitation rights unless the person's guardian goes to court to stop them. It really seems like a non-issue. In fact, most children seem to need an extra push to make a visit to a sick relative. But when the elderly is under guardianship, depending on someone else to manage their affairs, it can become more convoluted as to who may or may not visit. Last Friday, Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa signed a bill to make it simpler.

In 2013, the children of Casey Kasem, the host of "American Top 40", had to seek court action to see their father, who was suffering from dementia and advanced Parkinson's disease. His guardian and second wife, Jean Kasem, denied visitation to his children as she moved the aging man from a care facility in Los Angeles to a friend's home in Washington State. Kasem's daughter filed a legal petition to gain control of his health care, saying his wife was isolating him from friends and family.

The Iowa law, nicknamed the "Visitation Bill", is one of the first of its kind, giving a right to visitation to family and others the patient has expressed interest in seeing. The legal guardian can still control the time and place of the visitation, but must allow it to take place.

Law such as this seem to be a simple step. But in most cases, there are other variables in place which can impede the easy solution. Hopefully, more states will adopt a "Visitation Bill" to help children of ailing parents get access to their parents when they need them the most.

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