Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Silver Alert

Last week, Mom enrolled Lyn in the city's new Silver Alert program.  Mom did not take Lyn with her and Lyn does not know she is enrolled.  Knowing about it may actually confuse and upset her.


The Silver Alert program requirements in New Mexico state the registered person must have dementia or another cognitive impairment.  Other states have age requirements in addition to the cognitive impairment requirement.  When Mom explained Lyn's situation no one hesitated to enroll her.  The program employees were very polite, kind and helpful.  They collected Lyn's information and stored it on a jump drive which was given to Mom.  


If Lyn wanders off, Mom will call a specific police phone number.  An officer comes and uses the jumpdrive to begin the search immediately.  After the person is located a bracelet is put on their wrist.  Thereafter, the monitored individual is to check in with the police department monthly to be sure the bracelet is still working.  The bracelet is used if the individual wanders off again.  The police an locate the lost individual the radio transmissions locating the bracelet.


This is a huge relief and assistance to care providers of those with cognitive impairments or dementia.  Of the 22,000 dementia patients in just New Mexico, over half will wander off at some point during their care.


Additional Information:
Wikipedia - Silver Alert

4 comments:

  1. Isn't there some logic to having a person wear that bracelet once their registered, rather than after they've gone missing once already? I realize there is a cost issue, but I think about here in Arizona, where people have wandered off and died from exposure rather quickly because of the climate, and as you state, over half of the 22,000 patients in NM wander off at some point.

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  2. The problem here is "logic". Nothing gets done until after the fact. I was just thrilled the program has begun, it's better than the usual "wait & see."
    mom

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  3. AZThespos, thank you for your comment. I had the same thought. However, if they enrolled everyone who needs to be enrolled, let's say all 22,000, then they'd have to pay for 22,000 bracelets and the monitoring of them. This way, they only have to do that for the enrolled ones who wander off and are found before they perish. It is a subset and that cost would be substantially lower. I'm revealing my cynicism here.

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  4. I just can't believe it would be all that much. They offer that kind of service for my DOG -- a GPS tracker on his collar that not only monitors his location, but sends a text message if he were to go outside of a defined area.

    Just seems silly we can't offer something at least as good for a human with special needs.

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