I was just reading a story about how the state of Massachusetts just passed and signed into law the so called "Silver Alert". So called. Those were the words of the reporter that wrote the story.
I remember when I first read about the Silver Alert I thought to myself, this is a good solution, an effect solution to wandering and we need it in all 50 state. That was back in 2008.
Massachusetts is state number 27 that has the Silver Alert program.
This should have been a national mandate -- a long time ago.
In all the stories I read about the Silver Alert I never saw these words included -- the Alzheimer's Association.
I decided to go over to the Alzheimer's Association and do some research. Here is what I found.
The Alzheimer's Association supports federal legislation, including the Silver Alert Grant Program Act of 2008 (H.R. 5898) and the National Silver Alert Act (H.R. 6064), that creates systems that provide families a way to locate lost or missing seniors who may be endangered. (July 15, 2008)
The Alzheimer's Association commends Reps. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) for introducing the National Silver Alert Act (H.R. 632) in the House of Representatives. The National Silver Alert Act seeks to create systems that provide families a way to locate lost or missing seniors who may be endangered. The Alzheimer's Association applauds their leadership in shedding light on an important issue that impacts an estimated 5.2 million Americans who are living with Alzheimer's disease. (January 29, 2009)
Both statements turn into a commercial for guess what? MedicAlert® +Alzheimer's Association's Safe Return® program. Surprise.
Well, I am for the Silver Alert also. Here is what makes me different from the AA -- people that are directly touched by Alzheimer's didn't send me $80-$100 million to get something done about one the most important problems that Alzheimer's caregivers face -- wandering.
According to the Alzheimer's Association website about 60 percent of person suffering from Alzheimer's will wander at some point.
Here is what it says on the Alzheimer's Association website.
Wandering can put an individual's safety in jeopardy. More than 60 percent of those with dementia will wander, and if a person is not found within 24 hours, up to half of individuals who wander will suffer serious injury or death.
Half, half of those that wander will suffer serious injury or death.
27 States out of 50 States!
I am a big fan of the Silver Alert program.
Now if you have the time, I would like you to read this story --
We learned later that my father had become disoriented and lost. He did not have a cell phone, remember the name of the hotel where he and my mother were staying, remember my mother’s cell phone number...he was unable to ask for help.....
You'll understand the connection to this story if you read. The article was written and submitted by one of our readers -- Donna Giovannetti.
It is a remarkable story, kinda hair raising at times.
After you read this article and Donna's, you are welcome to comment here as you see fit.
Maybe you will conclude it takes more than words like "support and commend" to make something happen. Or, maybe a nice trip to Hawaii is a more effective solution.
Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,690 articles with more than 70,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.