In 2015, with funding from the United Way of Calgary and Area, Bowmont Seniors Assistance Association (BSAA), a grass roots group of seniors, and carya commissioned an environmental scan of Silver Alert programs across North America. A steering committee comprised of Calgary Police Service, United Way of Calgary and Area, City of Calgary, Alzheimer Society of Calgary, carya, and BSAA was formed to develop a plan to address the issue of seniors going missing in the Calgary area. A community conversation was held with 32 stakeholder agencies and the outcome was that an Action Team was formed under Calgary’s Age Friendly Strategy.
Since 2015 several key activities have taken place including:
- Participation in a simulation of a community alert system developed by UofA
- Advocacy for coordination of response frameworks at the municipal, provincial and national levels including legislation to support them
- Development of resource materials for individuals at risk of going missing
- Supporting caregivers in the prevention of wandering and increase awareness of resources in the community
- Became a member of the International Consortium for Dementia and Wayfinding
- Supported the amendment of Government of Alberta’s Bill 210 Missing Persons Act
Goals of the Calgary Missing Older Adult Resource Network:
- Strategies are in place that will assist authorities in finding missing older adults.
- Ensure that response systems are efficient and coordinated
- Create public awareness about vulnerable older adults and the resources that are in place that help find them
- Develop a network that can support a community response and monitor issues pertaining to missing vulnerable older adults; identify and implement a “silver alert” type system
- Support caregivers in the prevention of someone going missing and increase awareness of resources in the community