Eau Claire (WQOW) - Across the state, thousands of people live with dementia; more than half will get lost or wander at some point. There's an effort to help get the word out quickly if that happens.
A new system, called the Silver Alert, is similar to the Amber Alert. Information would be aired about the missing person on radio, TV and electronic highway signs. The Silver Alert is designed to help those with dementia.
Home Instead Senior Care in Eau Claire, which provides in-home care for the elderly, says the new alert system could help save lives.
Tim Davis, with Home Instead Senior Care, says, "Right now about 110,000 people in the state of Wisconsin, 75 percent of them live at home and about 22 percent of them live at home alone. So there is a an enormous risk for wandering behavior and the Silver Alert, like the Amber Alert, the sooner we get people looking, the sooner we can get to the person who is at risk."
Davis says in many cases, people will wander, even when they're only in the beginning stages of dementia. He says it's important to take a preventative approach if you see the signs in your loved ones. That might include memory loss, difficulty completing tasks at home and misplacing things.
You can reach out to your local aging and disability resource center for more information.