Analyzing state-based Silver Alert programs: the case of North Carolina

April 16, 2013


  • Taka Yamashita
  • J. Scott Brown

Recent discussions about securing the autonomy and safety of older people in a cost-effective way have culminated in the establishment of "Silver Alert" media-alert policies in more than half of US states over the past 5 years. Despite a policy focus on older adults and individuals with cognitive impairment, activation of Silver Alerts in a county was not related to the proportion of the population 65 years of age or older or to the prevalence of poor mental health in the county. Additionally, spatial analyses suggested that the number of Silver Alerts in a county was related to its proximity to North Carolina's state capital, Raleigh. The current mission and implementation of the Silver Alert program should be reviewed, given that significant effects were observed for the proportion of African Americans in a county and the county's distance from the state capital, but not for the proportion of older adults in the county or for the prevalence of impaired mental status.

North Carolina Medical Journal, 74(2), 111-117.

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  • Case Studies/ Qualitative Research
  • Mental Health