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31
Jan

New Mexico Alzheimer’s Association Endorses State Silver Alert Legislation

New Mexico State Senator Sen. Richard Martinez (D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Santa Fe counties) has introduced SB 42 the Missing Person Notification Requirements Act. One of the proposed changes in this bill relates to the current age requirement for Silver Alert notifications. SB 42 would exempt the endangered person from the age requirement of 50 years or older if there is a clear indication that the individual suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. This would align New Mexico’s Silver Alert policy with several other states that have already passed similar change.

Tommy Hernandez, the public policy director of the New Mexico Alzheimer’s Association, made the case for SB 42 in an oped in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The bill also would provide a plan for collecting and maintaining records on each Silver Alert issued so that data-driven decisions can be made in the future. Currently, there is no plan to collect and maintain records and data on these notifications. Further, this legislation would establish a procedure for a text message notification on the endangered person, similar to an Amber Alert text.

This bill is urgently needed. Our state’s population of people age 65 and older will grow at a much faster rate than the national average. Aging is the single biggest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s. According to the New Mexico Aging and Long Term Services Department’s website, “By the year 2030, New Mexico’s percentage of population over age 65 will move from 29th to fourth-largest in the nation.”

We look forward to advocating in strong support of this much-needed bill on behalf of the nearly 39,000 people living with this disease and the 110,000 selfless caregivers in our state today, and call on our policymakers to support it.

 

 

18
Jan

Silver Alert Success Story: 76-Year-Old Arizona Man Found In Texas

On January 16, 2019, a Silver Alert issued for 76-year-old Thomas Donnelly. Donnelly went missing in Tombstone, Arizona and was found safe over 300 miles away in Texas.

According to the news story on KVOA-TV:

The Silver Alert that was issued for a 76-year-old man dementia Wednesday has been canceled.

According to the Department of Public Safety, Thomas Donnelly was located in Texas.

Officials say he is waiting for a family member to pick him up.

1
Jan

Senator Warner Announces Final Passage of Ashanti Alert Bill

Following the 2018 midterm elections, the United States Senate took up consideration of H.R. 5075, the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018. The bill had been approved by the House of Representatives in September. H.R. 5075 requires the Department of Justice to establish a national communications network, to be known as the Ashanti Alert communications network, to assist regional and local search efforts for certain missing adults.
In the Senate, Senators Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) introduced S. 3714, a companion Senate bill that was similar to the House Ashanti Alert measure. The Senate measure was then amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and passed unanimously on the Senate floor. The amended Senate bill was then sent back to the House for approval, where it was adopted by a vote of 386 to 2. President Trump signed Ashanti Alert into law on December 31, 2018.
“In the wake of an unspeakable tragedy, Meltony and Brandy Billie did something extraordinary: they channeled grief into a determination that other families would be spared the anguish of losing a loved one like they did Ashanti. Though no one can ever erase their pain, I hope it comforts them now to know that Ashanti’s death will not have been in vain,” said Senator Mark Warner. “Ashanti’s memory will carry on in the lives that will be saved through this new alert system.”
“This law will save lives. It closes a glaring gap in our present alert system. I’m proud to have worked with Senator Mark Warner on the Ashanti Alert Act and championed its quick passage through Congress.  This law will create a real-time alert system for missing adults, providing vital information to first responders and helping save lives,” said Blumenthal.  “Ashanti’s family should be commended for sharing her story, and turning their grief and loss into meaningful action.  Their strength and advocacy will help prevent other families from going through similar tragedies,”said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). Sen. Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, teamed up with Sen. Warner on this legislation after hearing from Ashanti’s cousin, Connecticut State Representative Patricia Billie Miller.