How A Silver Alert Works

What Is A Silver Alert?

A silver alert is a warning sign for all sorts of emergencies, most commonly when there is a missing elderly person with an underlying medical issue. Silver alerts use the media and information from police departments to inform the public about the missing person. If you have any information that could help in finding these people, please contact your local authorities.

A silver alert is intended to reach as many people as possible in an attempt to locate a missing individual who has Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or another form of mental disability and who might be in danger without their medication or proper supervision. A family member or guardian should give law enforcement officials consent before reporting someone missing under this type of alert system so they can err on the side of caution when issuing silver alerts.

When reporting that someone is missing using a silver alert system, law enforcement ask that family members provide as many details as possible. This may include information such as the name of the individual, age, date last seen, hair and eye color, height and weight as well as any medications they might be taking or any medical conditions they have that could explain their absence. In some states, you must also provide a photo to help authorities identify the person if they come across them.

caregiver helping elderly man

When Is An Elderly Person Considered Missing?

A local or national Silver Alert is often used when someone believes that an elderly person has been taken by force, against their will, and this person is in danger. Silver alerts can be used when someone believes that an elderly person has been taken by a robber or anyone who would do them harm.

An older adult is considered missing when they have been gone from their residence for an abnormal length of time. There is no specified length according to Kansas Bureau of Investigation, they just recommend to report the information to local authorities ASAP. Abnormal lengths of time will vary depending on the individual who has gone missing. Abnormal may mean a few hours, a day or two days in some cases. In other cases it may take weeks or longer before someone is considered a missing person if they have a case of Alzheimer’s disease and wander off without knowing how to get back home.

What Are The Different Types Of Silver Alerts?

  • A missing endangered adult alert is issued when someone over the age of 65 goes missing and is believed to be suffering from dementia or other cognitive impairments that lower their judgment and awareness of what’s happening around them. These people typically wander off while out on a walk or trip to run errands. They often walk long distances without knowing where they are going which puts them at risk for getting lost or injured.
  • A silver alert for law enforcement personnel is similar but has some extra restrictions placed so it does not hinder any police. The key difference here is that there must be evidence that they were taken against their will.
  • A silver alert for a missing person with special needs is different from the other two in that it can be issued for anyone between the ages of 17 and 65 who has been diagnosed with a developmental disability or mental illness. Most people with these disorders are not believed to suffer from dementia, but this also means that it makes them more vulnerable because their behavior may make them misunderstood.

What should I Do If Someone With Dementia Goes Missing?

If a person with dementia has gone missing, it is important to be sure that this is what happened before doing anything else.

In the event someone with dementia goes missing, call 911 immediately. The police should be able to search for them more efficiently and quickly than you can. If there is a silver alert in effect or if the local authorities do not know about your loved one’s condition, they will take steps to locate them by broadcasting their description through the media – this may include television and radio broadcasts as well as traffic bulletins on major highways.

Kansas City Home Care

A silver alert is a last resort for circumstances out of your control. If your elderly loved one needs care then the experts at KC Home Care can help. They specialize in all things Dementia and Alzheimer’s and will ease the stress from worrying about your loved one’s safety. Please call today for more information!