Calif. Lawmaker Urges ‘Silver Alerts’ to Help Track Wandering Seniors
Monday, May 11, 2009
California Some California lawmakers want to set up an alert system to help find senior citizens who wander away from home. It would work much like the Amber Alert, where the public is notified about a missing child. Democratic Senator Elaine Alquist wants to create the so-called "silver alert." She says law enforcement would decide whether to issue the alert when a person over 65 is reported missing. She says there's a growing need for such a system:
"I mean in another 10 or 15 years, the number of people who are gong to have dementia or Alzheimer's is going to be staggering and unless we start to deal with it now, and I think, being 64 years old, I think as people get older they get more precious and I think we need to take care of them," she says.
Alquist says nearly 600,000 people in California have Alzheimer's disease. She more than half will wander away from home or a care facility at some point. The legislation is currently on hold in a Senate committee while its costs are evaluated. More than a dozen other states have established silver alert systems.
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