We hope you never have to file a missing person report, but if you are in a situation that warrants one, it is important to understand the type of report you need to file, and the information you must provide to create active silver alerts.
A missing person report is difficult both for the law enforcement agency involved, and the person who is filing the report.
So what is a silver alert? A Silver Alert System is a public notification system designed to broadcast information about a missing person. The silver alert is most often enacted when a senior citizen who has dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease is missing or in danger.
Activation criteria for a missing person silver alert may vary from state.
The silver alert system can also be used for a younger person or person of any age who is missing or in danger and has cognitive or developmental disabilities.
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Silver Alert vs Amber Alert: What are the Differences?
If you hear an Amber Alert notification on your phone or another device such as your computer or television, you can be sure that a child is involved.
An Amber Alert is an early warning system that is issued when a child has been abducted and is thought to be in imminent danger.
To satisfy Silver Alert criteria, the missing person is usually identified as a medically, physically, or cognitively fragile person. We usually think of a person who is over the age of 65 when a silver alert is issued.
In some cases, the person can be younger, or even a child, if the criteria are met. Endangered or cognitively fragile people who are reported missing are entered into the silver alert system upon completion of the missing person report.
People who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease have the tendency to wander away from their residence and cannot find their way back home.
The Alzheimer’s Association reports that six of ten people with Alzheimer’s wander at some stage of their disease.
If your loved one has strayed away from home or is missing, you should contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.
You do not have to wait 24 hours if your loved one has dementia or another cognitive impairment. Timing is everything when a person is lost and confused.
You will be asked questions about habits and places that your loved one might try to find, such as a former residence or workplace.
A detailed description of your loved one is essential to the investigation. It is important to know what he was wearing and any distinguishable characteristics.
Sometimes a person who has Alzheimer’s will go outside in inclement weather in night clothes or other inappropriate clothing.
A recent photograph is helpful. Be sure you have one on hand of any family members with dementia or cognitive disabilities.
As soon as the needed information is provided, the silver alert for the missing elderly person will be issued.
Be sure someone remains in the home in case the individual tries to call or returns home.
The silver alert system can provide comfort to nervous relatives as they anxiously await being reunited with their loved one.
Additional information about silver alerts for missing or endangered elderly people and the National Silver Alert Act can be found by clicking here.