Like the Amber Alerts that are used when children go missing, Silver Alerts get the word out about missing senior citizens.
Also like Amber Alerts, the Silver Alert system uses a wide variety of media outlets to make the announcement – including radio stations, televisions stations and cable TV.
Seniors and restlessness. Some seniors, including those who have Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia, often feel a restlessness or a need to move, and are at risk of wandering off. Approximately 6 in 10 dementia victims will wander off at least once. Even the first time this happens, the results can be dangerous or even deadly. Half of all wandering seniors who are not found within 24 hours experience a serious injury or death.
Silver Alert criteria varies by state. There are variable activation criteria for Silver Alerts, depending on the state. Some states limit this type of alert to seniors over the age of 65 while others open up the Silver Alert program to anyone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or a mental disability.
With the growing elderly population, Silver Alerts are becoming even more important. Silver Alerts offer everyone from law enforcement to the news media to friends and family on Facebook or even with a cell phone or landline phone to get the word about the missing senior out quickly, efficiently and hopefully in time to prevent tragedy.