The Alzheimer’s Association said about six out of 10 patients with dementia will wander at least once, putting at least 50 percent at risk for potentially serious harm and death if they are not found within 24 hours following a disappearance.
As sheriff of Putnam County and president of the state’s Sheriffs’ Association, Donald B. Smith praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators for enacting the adult alert system.
“Extending an effective protocol, the Amber Alert system, to a vulnerable population, missing adults with cognitive impairments, has made a significant contribution to public safety, allowing law enforcement to provide vulnerable adults the same kind of immediate response and public alert system that we provide to missing children,” he said.
“I also want to thank the New York State Broadcasters for their strong support of this program in helping us to make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.”
HOW TO REPORT
If someone you know with a brain injury, cognitive disorder or mental disability goes missing, there are important steps the DCJS says you can take:
• Contact local law enforcement to report your loved one is missing and that their life may be in imminent danger so that the alert system can be activated, and have their vital information entered into the National Crime Information Center Missing Person File.
• Be prepared to provide the following important information: name, height, weight, hair and eye color, date of birth, what the person was wearing prior to the disappearance and any vehicle information if the person were driving. Also notify police of any unique identifiers such as eyeglasses, mobility limitations and special interests.