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Silver Alerts A System For Missing Elderly Residents

What is Silver Alert?

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 injury
  • 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.