October 8 marked the thirteenth anniversary of Florida’s Silver Alert program. Since the program’s inception in 2008, 2,721 Silver Alerts have been issued, and Florida’s Silver Alert program has been directly responsible for 268 recoveries of missing senior citizens.
Silver Alerts are activated statewide at the request of local law enforcement after a senior with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia (ADRD) goes missing in a vehicle. Once a Silver Alert is issued, information about the missing senior is communicated to the public through local media outlets, lottery terminals and highway message signs.
“We see successful Silver Alert recoveries each month because our partners quickly and effectively share critical information which citizens respond to,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen. “The Silver Alert program makes the public our most valuable partner in saving the lives of our missing senior citizens.”
“The Silver Alert has been, and continues to be, an essential program that helps older adults with ADRD stay safe,” said Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Richard Prudom. “We know that of the 5.5 million residents in our state age 60 and older, that more than 580,000 individuals live with Alzheimer’s disease alone. The State of Florida has made researching and ending Alzheimer’s disease and all dementias a top priority, so it’s important we continue to support programs like the Silver Alert as our population ages.”
Through coordinated state and local efforts, Florida’s Silver Alert program has gained the reputation of being an effective and necessary tool that has encouraged communities to participate in locating our missing elders.
Missing persons 60 years of age and older who have irreversible deterioration of intellectual faculties such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are eligible for Silver Alert activation. Once the person has been recovered, the Department of Elder Affairs, in coordination with the Area Agencies on Aging and Florida’s Memory Disorder Clinics, work to provide follow-up assistance to the senior.
Citizens can learn more about the program and sign-up to receive Silver Alerts via email at www.floridasilveralert.com.