Silver Alert: Like an Amber Alert for vulnerable adults

Silver Alert: Like an Amber Alert for vulnerable adults
In a Silver Alert, law enforcement and search crews would mobilize to find a missing and vulnerable adult.

EUGENE, Ore. - When children are abducted, an Amber Alert can help find them before it is too late.

A Silver Alert would serve a similar purpose, sounding the alarm when a vulnerable adult or elder disappears.

"Over 50 percent some say up to 70 percent of people with dementia will at some point wander," said Adele Tiberius, director of resident services at Cascade Manor. "Not everybody who wanders is lost or hurt, but so many of them do that we have to have systems in place for these people to come home."

A bill to create a Silver Alert system is under consideration now by the Oregon Legislature.

As the baby boomer generation ages, such a system might be needed more than ever.

Rachel Jacobsen with Lane County's aging and disability resource connection said that in 2013 their office received at least 63 calls a day.

The majority of those calls were seniors requesting more information on how to stay at home instead of moving into an assisted care facility.

"They're calling almost entirely for figuring out ways to stay independently living within their home or within their apartment with support of services in place," Jacobsen said.

And if more seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's are home, they're more likely to be unsupervised.

Enter the Silver Alert, where "you can get the entire community involved in helping find that person and bring them home," Tiberius said.