Florida's Silver Alert & Lost on Foot

Educational Resource

Silver Alert

Alzheimer’s Community Care was instrumental in getting the Silver Alert legislation passed, and then signed by then Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Since its inception in October 2008, the Silver Alert has been adopted in other states, and has saved lives. To learn more about the Silver Alert program, please watch the informational video below.

Lost on Foot

It is well recognized that 60-70% of those with Alzheimer’s disease or related neurocognitive disorders are at risk to wander away from a supervised setting at some point in the course of the disease. If the patient can walk or self-propel a wheelchair, he or she is at risk to become “lost on foot.”

With this in mind, it is vital for family and professional caregivers, as well as law enforcement professionals, to prepare for situations in which our patients leave safe, supervised areas. This situation is referred to as “elopement.”

Over the past two years in Florida, approximately 950 residents of assisted living and skilled nursing facilities “eloped.” When a patient with Alzheimer’s disease becomes “lost on foot,” time is of the essence!

The current Florida Silver Alert program facilitates finding patients who have become lost while driving a vehicle. Having successfully led the Task Force which developed the above program, Alzheimer’s Community Care was asked to lead the effort to establish protocols for “Lost on Foot” events. The Lost on Foot Task Force, assembled by Alzheimer’s Community Care, included representatives from state, law enforcement agencies and community resources.

The Task Force has developed educational programs for families, facilities and law enforcement, with the goal of reducing the number of patients who become “lost on foot.”

The Family Elopement Risk Guide is an invaluable tool to help caregivers provide the necessary information to law enforcement. We encourage caregivers to view and complete the risk guide (click above) and have it readily available in the event that a loved one is “lost on foot.” To view and print just the elopement form, please click here.

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