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July 25, 2011

Florida: Silver Alert saves 44 seniors, but challenges remain

by silveralertbill

From the Orlando Sun-Sentinel:

44 seniors have been safely located directly as a result of a Silver Alerts, out of a total of 321 alerts issued. Marshall said the number is probably even higher, because there is no way to track every Silver Alert-related recovery.

The Alzheimer’s Association says that more than 60 percent of Alzheimer’s patients will, at least once, wander and become lost. Stories of those who have done so behind the wheel are startling: In May, a deputy in the Florida Keys who had received a Silver Alert on a Lake County man found the 72-year-old in his Chevrolet Corvette driving across Seven Mile Bridge, more than 375 miles from home. An 80-year-old Tampa man and his minivan was located in Ohio. An 89-year-old man left his home in Mississippi to drive to a nearby grocery store. He was located near Ocala.

As effective as Silver Alerts are, they have limitations. At times there are problems alerting nearby states, and in the case of the Tampa man located in Ohio, the six-hour time limit on the alert had long since expired by the time a waitress in a diner spoke to him, and realized he was lost.

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