Silver Alert is a public notification system in the United States to broadcast information about missing persons – especially senior citizens with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other mental disabilities – in order to aid in their being found.
Silver Alerts use a wide array of media outlets to broadcast information about missing persons such as:
- commercial radio stations
- television stations
- cable television
- Message signs on roadways to alert motorists to be on the lookout for missing seniors.
In cases in which a missing person is believed to be missing on foot, Silver Alerts have used Reverse 911 or other emergency notification systems to notify nearby residents of the neighborhood surrounding the missing person’s last known location.
Supporters of Silver Alert point to U.S.A growing elderly population as a reason to support new programs to locate missing seniors. Approximately six in ten dementia victims will wander at least once, health-care statistics show, and the numbers are growing worldwide, fueled primarily by Alzheimer’s disease. If not found within 24 hours, up to half of wandering seniors with dementia suffer serious injury or death.