A new law aims to help law enforcement track down people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Similar to how Amber Alerts deal with missing children, the “Silver Search” programs will alert the public when someone with these conditions has wandered off.
State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), sponsor of the legislation, says the exact protocol of the alert is yet to be determined.
“The purpose of this law is to really allow experts to put in place the mechanism that will work best,” Biss said.
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Biss says that may mean posting messages on electronic signs along Illinois highways, like Amber Alerts, along with more localized alerts using social media.
An estimated 210,000 Illinois residents have Alzheimer’s, and with baby boomers continuing to age, Biss says this kind of alert is needed for both law enforcement and the families of people with these conditions.
“It’s terrifying for them. It’s terrifying for their family, and right now, as a society, we are not really equipped to deal with the situation,” Biss said.
The law goes into effect January 1, with Illinois State Police then required to form a task force to implement the program within 90 days.