Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) announced that New York State recently launched a statewide alert system to help locate vulnerable adults who go missing. The “Missing Adults Alert” system, which is similar to the national Amber Alert program for missing children, will help authorities quickly notify the public when someone with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive impairment goes missing.
The “Missing Adults Alert” system was created under a law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in July, which Senator Fuschillo supported in the Senate.
“The Missing Adults Alert system will help save lives and prevent tragedies. Individuals with cognitive disorders are often unable to help themselves if they wander away and become lost. Using this new system to quickly distribute information about missing vulnerable adults will help bring these individuals home safe to their loved ones,” said Senator Fuschillo.
The new statewide system enables law enforcement to activate the same resources for missing vulnerable adults that are used to issue AMBER Alerts for missing children. These resources include partnerships with local media, a toll-free twenty four hour hotline, and email alerts to quickly distribute information about the missing individual to the public. Residents can sign up to receive these free alerts through the NY-ALERT system by visiting www.nyalert.gov.
AARP noted in a memo supporting the legislation to create the new system that “research shows that 6 in 10 people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia or mental impairment will wander at some point, and only 4 percent of those who leave home can find their way back,” and that “if they aren’t found within 24 hours, the risk of serious injury or death increases exponentially.”