Assemblymember Michael DenDekker (D/WFP-Jackson Heights) today announced that New York State has developed and implemented a “Missing Adult System.” Similar in design and operation to the national Amber Alert System for abducted or missing children, the implementation of the new program was first announced by New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday, October 24, 2011.
“Anyone who knows or is caring for an elderly or impaired friend or family member will want to take advantage of this new program,” Assembly Member DenDekker said. “Like we do for missing children, the Missing Adults Alert system will allow law enforcement personnel to locate elderly and confused adults and return them safely to their homes.”
The notification system, which was signed into law in July of 2011, provides a framework by which information regarding missing adults with impairment issues – such as Alzheimer's or other cognitive impairments – can be widely and quickly disseminated through law enforcement, media, and other notification systems. Additional resources include Tools which can be used to find the missing, as in the case of the Amber Alerts informational posters, a toll-free hotline and partnerships with broadcasters.
When signing the legislation, Governor Cuomo's office pointed out that more than 60% of those suffering from Alzheimer’s in New York State will wander, with some 50% at risk of serious harm or death if not located within 24 hours. Additionally, those with dementia disorders or brain injuries may be unaware of danger and unable to ask for help getting home.
Those who are interested in receiving alerts can visit www.nyalert.gov to sign up, or contact Assembly Member DenDekker’s district office at (718) 457-0384.