The National Silver Alert Act (H.R. 632), authored by Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), passed the House on a voice vote.
"We commend Congressman Doggett for his leadership. This legislation will help protect seniors living with Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia," said ALFA President & CEO Richard P. Grimes.
The legislation creates a voluntary national system to search for missing seniors patterned on the Amber Alert program which is used to find missing children. Under the bill, a new Silver Alert Coordinator at the Department of Justice will consult with other federal agencies to develop best practices for Silver Alert programs. The bill authorizes up to $10 million in state grants to develop and maintain Silver Alert programs.
"When it comes to the safety of missing seniors, there is no silver bullet, but one meaningful way of helping is through the National Silver Alert," said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, in a press release. "As more Americans approach their golden years, National Silver alert can provide some reassurance. Reuniting missing seniors with their families requires a rapid, united response. What's missing from current efforts is sufficient federal support-this bill closes that gap."
ALFA is an original endorsing organization of the National Silver Alert Act. According to the Alzheimer's Foundation, more than 5 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer's disease, and approximately 3 million will wander away at some point. Wandering is a symptom of the disease.
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