We see it on the news all too often: An older person with Alzheimer's Disease or dementia has wandered or driven away from their home. Family members are distraught, law enforcement is searching, perhaps flyers go up in the neighborhood. At the center of it all is a person who's lost and confused, and may or may not find their way back home.
Florida has started a program that is so simple, it's brilliant. And it's working.
When a person in the state who is over 60 and who suffers from dementia or Alzheimers goes missing, the state issues a "Silver Alert," similar to an Amber Alert -- a notification that goes out immediately to law enforcement officials and the general public to let them know who is missing, what they look like and where they were last seen. An extra part of the alert is that all phone numbers within a mile of where the person left home get an automated phone call telling them about the Silver Alert.
All 19 times that the state has issued Silver Alerts, the person has been found. About a dozen other states are adopting or have adopted similar programs, and legislation for a national program is pending in Congress.
Here's the full story in the New York Times:
Do you have someone in your family who has dementia or Alzheimer's? Have they ever had the misfortune of being lost or missing? Do you think programs like the Silver Alert should be national, or state-based?
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