Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. – Support, Education and Research for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

Silver Alert

Silver Alert Law Now in Effect to Save Lives in Tennessee
Alzheimer’s Tennessee urges the public to help find missing individuals

Tennessee’s new Silver Alert Law is now in effect to save lives, and Alzheimer’s Tennessee is encouraging everyone who hears that a Silver Alert has been issued to please be vigilant and watchful for the missing individual.

“Silver Alerts are lifesaving and especially critical to the safety of our Tennessee seniors, if all of us are aware of who is in need of our help to find their way home safely,” Janice Wade-Whitehead, Alzheimer’s Tennessee CEO and President explained. “Alzheimer’s Tennessee is working to help the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and local law enforcement understand Alzheimer’s and dementia – and how to best support wandering individuals and their families.”

The Silver Alert Law that took effect July 1, 2021 is already helping to find missing individuals who have wandered due to dementia, physical impairment, or disability. The TBI is tasked with oversight and creating a uniform statewide protocol for missing persons, including public alerts through media and on interstates, as well as posts on social media and coordination with local law enforcement.

With TBI providing education, implementation and tracking, Silver Alert will be more effective and more capable of saving lives. Creating a uniform protocol across the state will significantly strengthen the Silver Alert and provide clear instructions for local, inter-agency, and media coordination for how to respond to calls of vulnerable, missing adults who may be disoriented and incapable of finding their own way home.

Because 6 out of 10 people with Alzheimer’s disease will wander at some time during their illness, Alzheimer’s Tennessee works with families to both prevent and prepare for those incidents.  The local 501(c)3 non-profit headquartered in Tennessee with six regional offices provides education for the community, family caregivers and healthcare professionals, emphasizing why wandering is common. 

Alzheimer’s Tennessee provides a FAMILY CONTACT GUIDE and MISSING PERSON PROFILE FORM (Family Guide Missing Persons Silver Alert With logos.pdf) to complete before or during crises. 

Alzheimer’s Tennessee also partners with MedicAlert Foundation International to enroll individuals and families in the MedicAlert Found program. Operating as a live 24-hour emergency response service, any person who experiences a medical emergency, or who may wander and become lost will receive exceptional treatment and care while first responders work with a MedicAlert Emergency Response Specialist to safely reunite loved ones.

 “Obviously Alzheimer’s Tennessee has a vast reach across the state,” Tennessee Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Newport), the Silver Alert Law’s Primary House Sponsor, shared. “We all know how important grassroots efforts can be. When I was 13-years old, my Grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, so this is near and dear to my heart.”

An estimated 120,000 Tennesseans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, but as many as four times that number are involved in their care. Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Tennessee Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Tennessee Federation for the Aging, Tennessee AARP and other senior advocates hope a strengthened the Silver Alert system will help reunite those who wander with their families and prevent tragedies that have become all too common.

Silver Alert passed in both houses with a unanimous vote, and Governor Bill Lee included funding in his budget. The legislation passed in the Senate with Sen. Becky Massey as the Prime Sponsor and with Rep. Jeremy Faison as the Prime Sponsor in the House. Alzheimer’s Tennessee appreciates these life-saving leaders as well as dozens of co-sponsors, including the following:

SENATE SPONSORS

 

Becky Massey, Knoxville            

Raumesh Akbari, Memphis        

Paul Bailey, Cookeville              

Janice Bowling, Tullahoma        

Richard Briggs, Knoxville          

Rusty Crowe, Johnson City       

Brenda Gilmore, Goodlettsville  

Joey Hensley, Hohenwald           

Ed Jackson, Jackson                  

Sara Kyle, Memphis                  

Mark Pody, Lebanon                  

Shane Reeves, Murfreesboro      

Art Swann, Maryville                 

Page Walley, Bolivar                 

Dawn White, Murfreesboro         

Ken Yager, Kingston                 

Jeff Yarbro, Nashville                 

 

HOUSE SPONSORS

 

Jeremy Faison, Cosby               

Rebecca Alexander, Jonesborough         

Rush Bricken, Tullahoma

Kent Calfee, Kingston  

Scotty Campbell, Mountain City 

Dale Carr, Sevierville               

Scott Cepicky, Culleoka           

John Clemmons, Nashville         

Barbara Cooper, Memphis         

John Crawford, Kingsport          

Michael Curcio, Dickson            

Vincent Dixie, Nashville           

Clay Doggett, Pulaski                

Rick Eldridge, Morristown          

Johnny Garrett, Goodlettsville    

John Gillespie, Memphis            

Bruce Griffey, Paris                    

G.A. Hardaway, Memphis          

Kirk Haston, Lobeville    

David Hawk, Greenville

Gary Hicks, Rogersville

Tim Hicks, Gray

Dan Howell, Cleveland

Chris Hurt, Halls

Kelly Keisling, Byrdstown

Sabi Kumar, Springfield 

London Lamar, Memphis

William Lamberth, Cottontown

Mary Littleton, Dickson

Harold Love, Nashville

Eddie Mannis, Knoxville

Pat Marsh, Shelbyville

Debra Moody, Covington

Jason Powell, Nashville

Bob Ramsey, Maryville

Iris Rudder, Winchester

Lowell Russell, Vonore

Paul Sherrell, Sparta

Robin Smith, Hixson

Bryan Terry, Murfreesboro

Dwayne Thompson, Cordova

Todd Warner, Lewisburg

TerriLynn Weaver, Lancaster

Mark White, Memphis

Sam Whitson, Franklin

Ryan Williams, Cookeville

Dave Wright, Corryton   

 


Alzheimer’s Tennessee has offices in the Tri-Cities, Knoxville, Cookeville, Tullahoma, Jackson, and Nashville to coordinate support groups and resource referrals, educate family and professional caregivers, and offer financial assistance. If you have questions about yourself or a loved one, please visit www.alzTennessee.org, call the 24/7 Help line at 1-800-ALZ-GATEway, or 1-800-259-4283 to connect with your local Alzheimer’s Tennessee office.

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