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The Goodman Group Urges U.S. Senate to Take Swift Action on ‘Silver Alert’ Legislation

The Goodman Group, a leader in senior care facilities management, says H.R. 6064 would help police save the lives of elderly who turn up missing. - October 08, 2008

(PRNewsChannel) / Largo, Fla. / The Goodman Group, which manages a campus for seniors in Largo, today urged the U.S. Senate to approve ‘Silver Alert’ legislation that would help create a system in each state to help locate individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related illnesses.

 “This is a positive and proactive step toward adding another resource to support our police departments, emergency services and the community at large,” says Gary Solomonson, a national director of Minnesota-based The Goodman Group, which operates The Palms of Largo. 

H.R. 6064 passed a major hurdle last week in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation establishes a national grant program to help U.S. states and territories create ‘Silver Alert’ notification systems.

The death of an 86-year-old Largo woman who lived at an assisted living facility at The Palms of Largo prompted the federal legislation.  Mary Zelter was found in the Intracoastal Waterway a week after she signed out.  She apparently drove into the Intracoastal.  Her family actively lobbied for such legislation.

To help protect an increasing number of seniors who are lost, several states already have created ‘Silver Alert’ programs, according to NASUA, the National Association of State Units on Aging.  As of May, the Association reports that seven states had ‘Silver Alert’ programs and two states have legislation pending.  Florida, which has the highest concentration of seniors, is in neither category.

“Whether people live at home or in a senior living community, a ‘Silver Alert’ program becomes a community resource that can save lives and/or minimize the harm that might come to an elderly person,” says Solomonson.

‘Silver Alert’ programs are modeled after the Amber Alert programs now in all 50 states.  The Amber Alert, which is in all 50 states, distributes information about missing children to law enforcement, radio, and television stations.  While Amber Alert is geared to protect children, Silver Alert programs are targeted for adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

According to the Alzheimer's Foundation, more than 5 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer's disease, and approximately 3 million will wander away at some point.

About The Palms of Largo:  Located in the heart of Pinellas County, the 95-acre Palms of Largo campus offers housing, programs, and services for individuals of all ages... from family and senior independent apartments to assisted living and memory care, from a holistic spa and fitness center to an experiential pre-school, from home health care to skilled nursing.  The campus is located within minutes of Gulf beaches, major shopping, restaurants, and the Largo Cultural Center.

Media Contact: 
Avi Elias, The Palms of Largo

Phone:  (727) 437-1350    Mobile:  (727) 639-1419
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