Legislation that could protect senior citizens suffering from Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia was reintroduced to the Senate last week.
The Silver Alert Act, which was first introduced last Congress, would create a national program similar to the Amber Alert, but for seniors. Senator Herb Kohl, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, reintroduced the bill.
"Setting up a Silver Alert system for seniors who go missing due to Alzheimer's disease or dementia will promote the safety of our nation's seniors, while bringing peace of mind to many concerned families," said the Wisconsin Democrat.
"With half a million new cases of Alzheimer's every year, the need for a system of this kind will only grow."
By 2030, it's estimated the number of individuals aged 65 and older with the disease will reach 7.7 million, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
If passed, the bill will encourage states to develop the alert system and provide funding to establish a national communications network to assist the efforts of finding lost senior citizens.
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the National Silver Alert Act, a version of the Senate bill.