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Florida celebrates anniversary of Silver Alert program

Staff Report

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Thursday, October 8 marked the twelfth anniversary of Florida’s Silver Alert program.  Since the program’s inception in 2008, 2,400 Silver Alerts have been issued, and Florida’s Silver Alert program has been directly responsible for 248 recoveries of missing senior citizens.

Silver Alerts are activated statewide at the request of local law enforcement after a senior with Alzheimer's or related dementia goes missing in a car. Once a Silver Alert is issued, information about the missing senior is communicated to the public through local media outlets, lottery terminals and highway message signs.

Silver Alert

“The success of Florida’s Silver Alert system is largely thanks to everyday citizens who care about one another—even if that person is a stranger,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen. “I encourage every Floridian to sign up to receive Silver Alerts so that, together, we can help protect one of our state’s most vulnerable populations.”

“As the number of Floridians affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia continues to rise, important programs such as Silver Alert play a key role in ensuring the safety of our loved ones affected by dementia,” said Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Richard Prudom. “We are proud of this program’s success and of the commitment from our partners to safely bring home missing elders.”

Missing persons 60 years of age and older who have irreversible deterioration of intellectual faculties such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are eligible for Silver Alert activation.

With over 5.5 million residents age 60 and older, the Department of Elder Affairs estimates that more than 580,000 individuals in Florida are living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Through coordinated state and local efforts, Florida’s Silver Alert Program has gained the reputation of being an effective and necessary tool that has encouraged communities to participate in locating our missing elders.

Once the person has been recovered, the Department of Elder Affairs, in coordination with the Area Agencies on Aging and Florida’s Memory Disorder Clinics, work to provide follow-up assistance to the senior.

Citizens can learn more about the program and sign-up to receive Silver Alerts via email at www.floridasilveralert.com.