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March 6, 2015

Washington: Silver Alert Legislation Passes House, Advances to Senate

by silveralertbill

The Washington State Legislature continues to make progress on Silver Alert legislation. HB 1021 was introduced by Representative Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo). The bill requires the Washington State Patrol to develop a Silver Alert plan for the recovery of senior citizens with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or some other mental disability. The bill passed on a vote of 95-3 on March 6, 2015 and was referred to the Senate.

As reported in the Washington House Democratic Caucus:

“This bill will save lives.” That’s how a colleague of Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-23rd district, Poulsbo) summed up House Bill 1021, one of Appleton’s priority bills for the 2015 legislative session. Known as the Silver Alert bill, it sets up an emergency notification process that goes into action when a senior with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, as well as other developmentally disabled persons over 60, go missing. The Silver Alert bill was OK’d by a 95-3 margin during floor action in the House Friday afternoon.

A predictable aspect of Alzheimer’s and age-related dementia is “wandering.” There are countless reasons why a confused and disoriented person might wander, but according to the Alzheimer’s Association web site, common situations can include trying to fulfill former obligations, such as going to work, or setting out to go home, when the person is already at home. What these and others have in common is that a vulnerable person leaves the safety of a home or care facility and winds up alone and lost.

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