Thursday, April 9, 2009

Silver Alert

I think everyone is now familiar with the Amber Alert. The nationwide alert when a child is missing. I think people are much less familiar with the Silver Alert. That's because the Senate just passed legislation in March to enact the Silver Alert Nationwide.

The Silver Alert works the same as the Amber Alert, only it is for missing seniors. Most notably seniors with dementia.

A few states have the program in place, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia, with a couple states passing the law, with the program to follow.

How many of us have heard about a missing senior? The outcome has been positive in some cases, but tragic in others. Long term care facilities have come a long way in taking steps to keep patients with memory loss safe. Most facilities have alarms, and/or doors that require a code to exit. There are significant numbers of Alzheimer's and dementia patients living at home or with a relative, who don't have alarms or codes on the door.

Visiting Angels was heavily involved in the campaign to pass this through legislation, but our involvement is not over. If your state has not passed the Silver Alert, or implemented the system, urge your representatives to move on this quickly. Someone's parent or grandparent, husband or wife, brother or sister could be out there tonight, confused, scared, and cold. Let's do everything possible to prevent another tragedy.

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