You probably know what an Amber Alert is. Maybe you were driving down the road, singing along to the radio, when suddenly the music stops. A general broadcast comes across the airwaves letting you know that a child is missing.
Would you be surprised if, instead of learning that a child was missing, that broadcast was alerting you that someone’s grandfather was missing? That is called a Silver Alert – less well known than an Amber Alert, but a powerful tool for protecting the aging population… especially those who have dementia.
For caregivers, safety is naturally a main concern. When dementia or Alzheimer’s is added to the mix, the need for a companion or helper to keep watch is heightened. The Silver Alerts Program is in place to aid caregivers and family members, and is much needed as the number of senior citizens living with Alzheimer’s and dementia is steadily increasing.
Nearly 60 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease will wander, and up to 70 percent of wanderers do so repeatedly. For that reason, Silver Alerts are being implemented by many state officials and law enforcement agencies, to provide caregivers and families a peace of mind.
What you need to know:
- Silver Alerts programs were put in place for seniors over the age of 65 with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and anyone with a cognitive disorder, regardless of age.
- If your loved one wanders and goes missing, immediately contact your local enforcement agency and a public notification will be sent.
- Information about your missing loved one will be broadcasted through outlets such as commercial radio stations, television stations and cable TV.
- Silver Alerts are also broadcasted on variable-message signs on highways to alert motorists to be on the lookout for missing seniors.
Most states have implemented Silver Alerts or a similar program, and the criteria used to activate an alert vary by state. Check out this list from the Alzheimer’s Foundation for information on the Silver Alert program in your state, or give us a call.
Silver Alerts helps to ensure the safety of our loved ones living with dementia and gives caregivers one less thing to worry about.
Do you have any special ways of preparing in case wandering happens?