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‘Silver Alert’ for seniors

‘Silver Alert’ for seniors

by TORONTO STAR

Ashlee McGarvey has a great idea about senior safety: Keep our seniors safe by initiating a ‘Silver Alert’, a take on Amber Alert, for our seniors.

Name: Ashlee McGarvey

Issue: Suggestion box

What’s the big idea: What if Toronto adopted a take on an Amber Alert, but for seniors? Essentially, this would be called the “Silver Alert,” which the United States has already taken on and some Canadian provinces are pushing for. It would broadcast information via media outlets and other means such has highway projectors that would alert Torontonians about a missing person who has dementia or other cognitive disabilities.

A huge concern for seniors with dementia is the tendency to wander. Six out of 10 people living with Alzheimer’s will wander away from their residence, whether it be from a care facility or their own home and sadly, it happens more often than we hear about. If not found within 24 hours, most will not be returning home safely.

How will the big idea work: The Toronto population is at approximately 2.75 million people. At least 40,000 people are living with diagnosed dementia in Toronto and there are people who have not yet been diagnosed. In two years, the population of older adults will, for the first time, be the largest share of the population and that means the number of diagnosed Torontonians will rise at an alarming rate.

By implementing this program in Toronto, it will help society to be more educated on the older adult population and the struggles they face with their health. Often, we toss older adults to the side because well, some feel there are bigger problems in the world.

But with the statistics shown, we need to bring this issue to the forefront because each and every one of us in our lifetime will know or care for someone living with dementia and surely, we would want them to return to us safely if ever they went missing. There has been so much success with this program in the United States, in areas where the older adult population is booming, like Florida. Surely, Toronto can make it just as successful.



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