Silver Alert Will Help Locate Lost Seniors

You've seen the amber alerts on electronic billboards letting you know about a kidnapped child. It may not be long before you see descriptions of missing seniors too.

By Marianne Favro
|  Tuesday, Jun 5, 2012  |  Updated 8:07 AM PDT
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Lawmakers are looking at a proposal to create an alert system for the elderly after a 69 year old man with dementia wandered off and was found dead just miles from his home.  NBC Bay Area's Marianne Favro reports on the Silver Alert.

Lawmakers are looking at a proposal to create an alert system for the elderly after a 69 year old man with dementia wandered off and was found dead just miles from his home. NBC Bay Area's Marianne Favro reports on the Silver Alert.

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You've seen the amber alerts on electronic billboards letting you know about a kidnapped child. It may not be long before you see descriptions of missing seniors too.

State senator Elaine Alquist has co-authored a bill that would establish a silver alert system in California. Simona Walter of San Jose supports the bill.

"We do it for our children so why not don't for our parents,our aunts and uncles?" ,said Walter.

Her own mother has Alzheimer's and has consistently wandered. She even left her assisted living home and walked three miles before she was found.

Simona was lucky to find her mother every time she wandered, but other families have not been so lucky.69!year old Meng Linggong of San Jose suffered from dementia and wandered off last week. He was found  dead in Alviso Marina National Refuge.

The state senate has already approved the legislation, now the bill will go on to the state assembly.

The bill allows local law enforcement to ask the California Highway Patrol to issue an alert for anyone age 65 and older who is missing.

More than 500 thousand Californians suffer from dementia and an estimated 60 percent of them are expected to wander.

The Alzheimer's association supports the proposed bill to give families the extra resources they need to find their loved ones during then first 24 hours they are missing.

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