You have heard of an “Amber Alert.” The Wisconsin legislature is considering a bill designed to protect missing and disabled seniors who are at least 65 years of age and cognitively impaired. The Wisconsin Department of Justice currently administers a crime alert network and may use this network to provide state agencies, law enforcement, or the public with information regarding criminal activity, crime prevention, and missing or endangered persons. The Wisconsin “Silver Alert” Bill will require the Department of Justice to allow law enforcement agencies to use the network to provide to broadcasters and outdoor advertisers reports of adults who are at least 65 years of age or cognitively impaired. The Department of Justice will ask organizations that assist individuals 65 and older for assistance in drafting guidelines for such alerts. 2013 ASSEMBLY BILL 710.
The intent of the Bill is to immediately send out information when a senior is missing or in danger. Concerns about the elderly continue to expand, as the population ages. Roughly one out of eight seniors suffer from Alzheimers, which causes problems with daily life, including memory, thinking, and behavior. For more information, see American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Wisconsin’s current system sends information to people to pay $12 per year to receive messages from the State’s crime alert network, but the system does not use media, such as radio and television, or billboards that would reach significantly more people. Under the Silver Alert Bill, information would be sent to the media, businesses, and individuals when a senior at risk is missing.
For elder care issues, contact Wisconsin’s elder care attorney, Lisa M. Vanden Heuvel, at 1-800-805-1976.