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Aging and Disability Resource Center of Broward County, Florida
The vast majority of Florida seniors will never need a Silver Alert, but for those few who do, the program can save their lives.
What is Silver Alert?
Florida's Silver Alert is a plan to help law enforcement rescue elderly persons with Alzheimer's Disease or a related disorder who are driving a car and become lost. The public is informed about the missing person through dynamic message signs on the highway.
These lighted message signs display the words "Silver Alert" and give the make, color and license tag number of the car being driven by the missing person. Police may also notify the media and send out recorded telephone messages.
Purpose of Silver Alert
The Silver Alert Program helps prevent tragedy among one of Florida's largest potentially vulnerable groups—Seniors experiencing an irreversible decline in memory and other mental faculties.
People with Alzheimer's Disease or a related disorder are extremely vulnerable when they are on their own. They can easily become confused and disoriented, even in familiar surroundings. If they are driving a car, they may end up many miles from their home, often in another county, or even in another state. They may drive erratically and not remember traffic laws, putting themselves and others in danger. The Silver Alert is designed to rescue them quickly, before a tragedy occurs.
How Does It Work?
When a senior citizen is missing, the Silver Alert Plan is activated by the local law enforcement agency investigating the disappearance. The Plan recognizes that the most effective response augments the search effort with community resources—local media, neighborhood telephone alerts and other technologies.
What You Can Do
Watch for Silver Alert notifications on the highway. If you happen to see the car identified on the sign, call law enforcement immediately and give them the location. They will safely intercept the person and return them home to their loved ones. Law enforcement officers need everyone's help to return these missing persons safely home.
Prevention is Always Best
When someone has Alzheimer's Disease or a related disorder, it is no longer safe for them to drive. This is a very difficult situation, because driving represents independence and control. However, the disease has damaged their ability to make sound judgments, react quickly and make split-second decisions—the cornerstones of safe driving. You may wish to enlist your doctor's help when you have the "no more driving" discussion. Your doctor can write the presciption, "do not drive," and provide guidance on how to enforce this.
Creators and Supporters
The Florida Chiefs and Sheriffs, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Florida legislators have worked in conjunction with concerned citizens and organizations to develop Florida's Silver Alert Plan.
For More Information
877.404.SILVER / 877.404.7458
You might also contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse, 1.888.356.4774.
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