Recently the BC Silver Alert was contacted by a group interested in creating a National Silver Alert Strategy for Canada. Silver Alert Canada wants to take the concepts of the Silver Alert and create a national strategy for vulnerable missing people.
The idea of a Silver Alert is to create a local alert for missing vulnerable people; we know from running this program that Alzheimer’s and related dementia is a growing problem, and that 60% of people with dementia will wander. We know the Silver Alert has been successful in many jurisdictions elsewhere in North America. From running our citizen’s BC Silver Alert in British Columbia, we know that even an “opt-in”, unofficial Silver Alert program can make a difference.
There is no reason why a missing person with dementia, Autism or other cognitive deficits should suffer a life threatening event in the middle of an urban centre. A caring society can easily locate someone with an appropriate alerting system. We were very happy to hear that Ontario had passed legislation, in 2011, to create a Provincial Silver Alert system. We’ve been waiting to see if it would be implemented and have been very disappointed to see it has not.
Similarly, we’re overjoyed to hear that both Alberta and Manitoba have made motions toward creating a Silver Alert.
We believe that a national strategy to support the Silver Alert is a necessary step. The federal government recently began rolling out the Alert Ready program nation wide and we believe that federal coordination of regional Silver Alert programs is a necessary step toward having a complete safety net for missing vulnerable adults.
We would like to ask our supporters to please support the Silver Alert Canada movement by following them on Twitter, and to sign the petition asking the Government of Canada to create a National Silver Alert Strategy.