The Illinois State Police announced that during 2018 there were 44 Silver Search advisories which led to 43 recoveries. One advisory is still active. By comparison, during 2017 there were 26 advisories.
“We are happy with the increase of the law enforcement community utilizing the resources Silver Search provides. In 2019, we look forward to expanding the reach of the program by continuing to train more first responders than ever before on this life-changing tool,” said Craig Burge, state police missing person coordinator.
“In partnership with the Silver Search Task Force, the Alzheimer’s Association is very proud to have helped reach Illinois residents all across the state with the Silver Search Alerts. The Silver Search Facebook page has reached hundreds of thousands of users and has been a fantastic tool in helping bring people home safely,” Patrick Reedy, Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter Executive Director, said. “Many positive stories have been shared, including one family whose father was found thanks to a Facebook post. “This increased awareness has been the mission of the Silver Search Task Force, which brings agencies and organizations together with the common goal of educating people on Silver Search.
Read more about this story in the La Salle News Tribune.
Utah State Representative Lee Perry has introduced H.B. 215, a bill to create a Silver Alert program in the Beehive State.
H.B. 215 requires the Department of Public Safety to develop an alert system similar to the Amber Alert System for endangered adults; and requires that the system utilize highway signage in the geographical area where the 16 person went missing. The bill defines the term “endangered adult” as a person 60 years of age or older with dementia.
Read more about Utah Silver Alert legislation at KUCW-TV.
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.