6/24/2011 West Palm Beach, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today signed into law the Florida Silver Alert Plan, which helps protect Florida’s vulnerable senior citizens. Silver Alerts assist local law enforcement in the rescue of a missing elderly person with a cognitive impairment. The alerts broadcast important information via the media and highway message signs to enlist citizens in the search for an endangered senior.

Governor Scott signed Senate Bill 664 at the Palm Beach County Sherriff’s Office with representatives of law enforcement agencies and the Alzheimer’s Community Care Inc. of Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties in attendance.

Since 2008, 44 seniors have been recovered directly due to activated Silver Alerts, out of a total of 321 alerts. With almost one-quarter of Florida’s population age 60 and older, this law ensures resources are in place to safeguard their health, safety and well-being.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 60 percent of those with Alzheimer’s will wander and become lost at some point. While most who wander do so on foot and are ultimately found within a few miles, those who become lost while driving a vehicle may wander much further from home, underscoring the importance of Silver Alerts. Established in 2008 by Executive Order, the majority of Silver Alerts have been issued for individuals recovered outside of the county where they went missing.

”The Silver Alert has proven to be an effective way to get vulnerable senior citizens who are missing and possibly in danger back to safety,” Governor Scott said. “I am proud to sign Silver Alerts into law and ensure our state protects elderly Floridians when they need our help.”

Citizens can sign up to receive free Silver Alert e-mail messages at www.elderaffairs.state.fl.us and www.fdle.state.fl.us.

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