What is Silver Alert?
Silver Alert is a public notification system used to broadcast information about
missing persons - especially seniors with Alzheimer's Disease, dementia or other
mental disabilities - in order to aid in their return.
How Do Silver Alerts Function?
Silver Alerts use a wide array of media outlets—such as commercial radio stations,
television stations, and cable TV—to broadcast information about missing persons.
Silver Alerts also use variable-message signs on roadways to alert motorists to
be on the lookout for missing seniors. In cases in which a missing person is believed
to have gone missing on foot, Silver Alerts have used Reverse 911 or other emergency
notification systems to notify nearby residents of the neighborhood surrounding
the missing person's last known location.
Approximately 6 in 10 dementia sufferers will wander at least once, health care statistics
show, and the numbers are growing worldwide, fueled primarily by Alzheimer’s disease.
If not found within 24 hours, up to half of wandering seniors with dementia suffer
serious injury or death. The Silver Alert program has already been used to great effect in
New Jersey help beat these odds.
When Can A Silver Alert Be Issued?
A Silver Alert may be issued under the following conditions...
- The person believed to be missing is believed to be suffering from dementia or other
cognitive impairment regardless of age
- A missing person’s report has been submitted to the local law enforcement agency
where the person went missing
- The person believed to be missing may be in danger of death or serious bodily
- There is sufficient information available to indicate that a Silver Alert would
assist in locating the missing person
- There is sufficient information available to disseminate to the public that could
assist in locating the person
The Silver Alert Program reflects society's compassion and concern for those living
with cognitive impairment. Similar types of alerts for at-risk groups have proven
to be invaluable in preventing harm to individuals and alleviating the anxiety
felt by their loved ones.