State Senator Becky Massey (R-Knoxville) was recently recognized with the Tennessee Federation for the Aging Legislative Advocacy Award for her leadership to establish the Tennessee Silver Alert Program. During the 2021 legislative session, Sen. Massey successfully spearheaded legislation through the Senate with unanimous approval to create a statewide Silver Alert Program to strengthen local efforts to safely recover seniors and vulnerable adults with disabilities who are missing in Tennessee.
“I was proud to sponsor legislation to create a statewide alert system that helps protect our aging citizens and return them home safely,” said Massey, who is Chairman of the Senate Transportation and Safety Committee. “This new system enables the community to work together to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens.”
Since the Silver Alert System went live on June 1st, 30 seniors who were missing have been recovered and returned safely to their loved ones through the alert system.
A Silver Alert can be issued for a missing person age 60 or older, whose whereabouts is unknown and who is believed to be in danger because of age, health, mental health conditions or physical disability. The alert will be issued when the missing person is believed to be unable to return to safety without assistance. In addition, the alert applies to a person who suffers from a documented case of dementia, intellectual, developmental or physical disability.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, six in 10 people with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia will wander away from their care settings. Disorientation begins in the early stage of dementia, causing people to get lost.
“As we’ve seen, the Silver Alert System has already showed tremendous success at helping to recovering missing seniors,” added Massey. “I appreciate the work of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for implementing this successful system. I look forward to the positive effects it will continue to yield for our aging and disabled citizens.”