SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Officials with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said so far this year, more than 100 Silver Alerts have been sent out statewide.

A few of those alerts have recently been issued here in the Ozarks. A Silver Alert is issued when adults, especially those who are older and suffer from dementia, are missing.

The Alzheimer’s Association explained why this can occur. “They may feel the need to go home or go to work even though they’re at home, but they’re thinking of a past residence, or they’re thinking of past duties that they have to do,” said Kristen Hilty, a care consultant with the Alzheimer’s Association.

Hilty said it’s alarming to see Silver Alerts come out. It’s a serious issue that will continue to be a concern. “My grandmother had Alzheimer’s, and before we really knew what was going on, she started wandering in the middle of the night,” said Hilty.

She said there are things caregivers can try to do. “Installing motion detectors in the house that will alert if someone is moving in an area they shouldn’t be moving,” said Hilty. “Putting alarms on the door at night.”

For anyone who sees someone who looks lost, Hilty said there are things to question. “Ask them if they know their name,” said Hilty. “They may or may not know their address. If they don’t know their address, I think that’s a good clue that this person may have a dementia problem, may be lost.”