The Silver Alert

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone these days who hasn’t heard of the “Amber Alert” which requires law enforcement to issue public bulletins to the media as soon as a child is reported missing.  If an adult is missing, the family has to wait 24 to 48 hours before they can even make a missing person’s report.  If you care for someone who has Alzheimer’s or some other type of dementia, you know the first 24 hours your loved one is missing can be the most critical.  There are almost 275,000 people in Michigan with some form of dementia and this number is expected to sky rocket as baby boomers age.  More than 60% of them will wander at some point.  This wandering will result in serious injury or death to almost half of them  within the first 24 hours they are missing.  Time is critical here and waiting 24 hours to report your loved one is missing will just stack the cards against their safe return.


Now there is hope.  In 2012, Governor Snyder signed the Mozelle Senior Or Vulnerable Adult Medical Alert Act into law.  It requires the police to take a report of a missing senior or disabled adult as soon as the department is notified. 

Before this law was enacted, the police were required to obtain documentation and signatures from appropriate people to verify that the missing person had dementia or was on life-sustaining medication.  This caused a delay in getting the name into the Law Enforcement Information Network system.  Now the word of the person reporting the missing senior is enough to get things rolling. The police are required to immediately forward all the information to all the law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction in the area where the person disappeared.  This information also has to go to at least one media outlet in that same area.  With this new law  the search for a missing wanderer can begin well before that first 24 hour critical time period has passed.  For a caregiver faced with a missing wandering loved one, the odds for a safe return have just gone up.  Have you ever had to deal with a missing loved one?  Share below and visit us at



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Filed under Aging in Place, Alzheimer's, companionship, Health care services, Senior Care, Trillium HomeCare, Uncategorized

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