AZ Senate set to vote on 'Silver Alert' for missing seniors - CBS 5 - KPHO


AZ Senate set to vote on 'Silver Alert' for missing seniors

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An Amber Alert is issued when a child is abducted. Now, our state lawmakers want to create a new missing persons alert - not for kids, but for seniors. 

"To her, every day was Sunday, so that's where she was going," Barbara Young said. "She was going to church - somebody's church, anybody's church."

Young said her 84-year-old mom, who has dementia, has wandered off at least a dozen times. The closest call happened this past August. 

"She left that Sunday at 9:30 that morning and we couldn't find her until 10 at night," Young said. "It was really hot, like 120 degrees."

Young's mother was OK, but she wasn't safely located until a fast food employee saw her picture on the news. 

"That was the scariest," Young said. "I didn't know what I was going to do, I didn't know what I was going to say to my family."

A new law would create the Silver Alert, notifying television and radio stations and sending out messages on the freeways if a senior goes missing. The bill has already been introduced and is making its way through the state Senate and a Senate vote is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 3. 

"You don't just pick up the phone and call in every missing person, there's a criteria you have to meet," said state Sen. Gail Griffin. 

The missing person would have to be 65 years or older and in possible danger because of their age, physical disability or mental capacity. Also, local agencies have to use all local resources beforehand. 

"I think this is an important issue," Griffin said. "It's the elderly that need help that can't help themselves."

Young's mom is now in assisted living, but she's hoping this bill can save some other families the heartache of missing a loved one. 

"I hope it passes because it would be a lot of parents, children that will feel more comfortable," Young said.

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