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Florida’s Silver Alert Program Benefits Dementia & Alzheimer’s Patients

Mary Zelter was 86 years old when her body was found in the Intracoastal Waterway on February 28, 2008. Afflicted with dementia, Mary had driven away from the assisted living facility she resided in, and never returned. Her unfortunate death would bring about a statewide initiative that ultimately became the Florida Silver Alert Program, designed to help save the lives of many cognitively impaired individuals like Mary Zelter.

As a leading provider dementia and Alzheimer’s home care in Boca Raton, Home Care Assistance wanted to share information about the Florida Silver Alert Program and how it offers many benefits to seniors as well as their families.

Since its enactment in October 2008 by former Governor Charlie Crist, Florida’s Silver Alert program has assisted law enforcement officials in the rescue of dozens of persons who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other similar conditions. Through the Silver Alert program, information about the missing person, including the car he or she was last seen driving, is broadcast through Florida highway signs.

Alerts can only be initiated by law enforcement officials, after they have been contacted with details of a missing person. Highway signs will remain active for up to six hours after the report, unless the individual is located or rescued within that time period. Loved ones will be contacted by a local Memory Disorder Center for follow-up support.

The program also features a toll-free hotline, which citizens can call to receive general information about Silver Alert and how it assists the cognitively impaired community and their loved ones. While the hotline does not offer counseling support, information about other resources and services may be provided to callers.

The program, similar to the Amber Alert initiative for children, has reported more than 296 Silver Alerts and has rescued 43 individuals since April 2011. Since its enactment, Silver Alert has proved to be an invaluable resource for the loved ones of individuals that are living with memory conditions. To learn more about the Florida Silver Alert program, visit www.floridasilveralert.com.

If you have an aging parent, grandparent or relative that is living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, know that help is available. Home Care Assistance provides advanced Alzheimer’s and dementia care for seniors in Boca Raton, delivered by professional, highly trained and compassionate caregivers. With the help, support and companionship of our caregivers, you can rest assured that your loved one is safe and comfortable at home. Call 561-826-9282 for more information or to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.