You are probably familiar with Amber Alerts, where officials notify New Mexico residents about possible child abductions. These alerts, which are common across the U.S., help to locate missing kids and return them to safety. Silver Alerts work the same way, despite applying to a different group of New Mexicans.
According to the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department, Silver Alerts have been in use in the Land of Enchantment since 2013. When an at-risk person over the age of 50 goes missing, officials may publish a Silver Alert.
Irreversible deterioration of intellectual faculties
Adults of all ages are usually free to move around as they wish. This freedom includes the right to go missing. Still, those with irreversible deterioration of their intellectual faculties likely do not have the mental capacity to make informed choices.
They also may not be capable of staying safe. Therefore, if you have an elderly relative who has dementia or another condition that impairs his or her cognitive abilities, you can expect officials to take steps to locate your missing loved one.
Evidence of nursing home neglect
If your aging relative lives in a nursing home or another long-term care facility, you expect professionals there to keep close tabs on him or her. Still, Silver Alerts often apply to nursing home residents who have left seemingly secure facilities.
A Silver Alert may be evidence of nursing home neglect. Put simply, if the staff at the nursing home cannot keep your loved one at the facility, he or she may not be receiving the supervision and care he or she needs to stay safe, let alone thrive.
Ultimately, if your relative becomes the subject of a Silver Alert after wandering away from a nursing home, you should talk to an attorney about your legal options.