The Greater Iowa Alzheimer’s Association wants Iowa to adopt a new statewide "Silver Alert." Executive Director Carol Sipfle says it would be modeled after the now familiar Amber Alert, which goes into effect when police believe a child may have been abducted.
"The difference being it is for seniors and others who are cognitively impaired," Sipfle said. Ten states already use the Silver Alert, which is activated when patients with dementia wander away from home or a care facility.
"After a certain point in time we would activate a system in the law enforcement field," Sipfle said. Broadcast media outlets would also sound the alert to notify the public about the missing senior. In other states, the Silver Alert has been issued more frequently than the Amber Alert for kids.
Critics say it is overused and results in the public ignoring the alerts. The Silver Alert is part of the Greater Iowa Alzheimer’s Association’s legislative agenda for next year.