Connecticut Legislators Take a Fresh Look at Silver Alert
Connecticut has had a statewide Silver Alert since 2009, when it was enacted with the support of then Attorney General Richard Blumenthal:
“Very simply, a Silver Alert saves lives, Blumenthal said. “Senior citizens with Alzheimer’s Disease or forms of dementia — mothers, fathers, grandparents and other loves ones — may wander from home and endanger their health and safety. The Silver Alert idea was brought to my attention by senior advocates who seek to quickly locate missing seniors. Especially during the cold winter or inclement weather, the longer a person is missing, the higher the likelihood of harm.”
Now several recent events have put renewed focus on the Connecticut Silver Alert program:
- State lawmakers voted to expand Connecticut’s Silver Alert program, a clearinghouse for information on certain missing people. Silver Alert now extends to patients reported missing from any Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services facility.
- On May 22, 2012, a Silver Alert was issued for 78-year-old Martin Anflick. Anflick went missing in Danbury, Connecticut and was later found alive 140 miles away in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
- On May 19, 2012 Fairfield firefighters rescued a disoriented for 90-year-old woman from Quincy, Massachusetts, 170 miles away. The local firefighters’ union planned to pay for a hotel room for the elderly woman until a relative arrived the next day to take her home, but with many visitors in town for theFairfield University graduation that weekend, no rooms were available. Instead, he said, she ended up spending the night at the Jennings Road Fire Station.
According to the Fairfield Citizen, the cases of the two missing seniors highlighted the growing problem of missing seniors across state lines:
“The incidents reinforce the need for seniors, and their families and caregivers, to take steps to ensure emergency personnel will be able to quickly find contact information if they become disabled or confused.
“More and more seniors are still driving,” Smith said, and incidents like the two recent Fairfield cases are becoming more common. He also suggested senior drivers make sure they always have a cell phone with them that includes emergency contact numbers.”