Federal "Silver Alert" notification system gains ground with lawmakers

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Federal "Silver Alert" notification system gains ground with lawmakers
Federal "Silver Alert" notification system gains ground with lawmakers
Calls to implement a nationwide "Silver Alert" system to notify the public of missing seniors are gaining legislative support, according to a news report.

The Silver Alert system would augment the current Amber Alert system, which alerts the public to missing and kidnapped children. The Alzheimer's Association has projected that up to 14 million seniors will develop Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia in the next few decades. Further data has shown that six out of 10 seniors with dementia will wander, the Chicago Tribune said.

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) last month introduced The Silver Alert Grant Program of 2008, which would give $100,000 to each state and territory for the purposes of starting a Silver Alert program. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) also introduced the National Silver Alert Act on May 15. Doggett's act would apportion up to $10 million through the Justice Department toward the same end.

Currently eight states have Silver Alert or similar programs. Four more -- Louisiana, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania -- are in the process of implementing the alerts, according to the Tribune.