Silver Alert Program,

Here is an article about a new program going into effect in Utah. The Silver Alert Program will use a reverse 911 system to let people know if a senior (typically, dementia sufferers) has gotten lost or wandered away. This is a godsend to caregivers because they just don't know what to do if the person they take care of is a "wanderer".  The article states, "60 percent of adults with Alzheimer's will walk away from caregivers at some point. Between now and 2025, about 21,300 adults will wander in Utah. And he noted that Alzheimer's patients often wander farther — 2 to 5 miles — than the national average."

Dementia sufferers can be easily confused, and become lost. They can wander far, looking for their homes, and get hurt along the way. A reverse 911 call is a great way to alert neighbors to be on the lookout. We do have a system here in Massachusetts, but I think it needs to be improved.  Many people don't know that the system exists or how to use it. For example, I had a hard time finding any online references on how to request an alert. So to help, you can find info HERE. The system is run through the police department, and you can sign up HERE to receive alerts.

I strongly feel that Massachusetts needs to better publicize this program. My own grandfather used to leave his retirement community - usually with no money and no ID - and several times we had to go find him. Having this Silver Alert is a no-brainer, but we need to do a better job of letting people know it exists.

Michael Monteforte, Jr.
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