USF Memory Disorders Clinic hosts Silver Alert forums May 13

Tips to Reduce Wandering in People with Alzheimer’s Disease

Tampa, FL (May 9, 2011) – The University of South Florida Memory Disorder Clinic will host two sessions Friday, May 13, to inform the public, senior service providers and local law enforcement officials about the Florida Silver Alert program.  Enacted by former Gov. Charlie Crist in 2008, Silver Alert is a statewide coordinated messaging system that uses roadside signs and media notifications to help find people 60 or older with dementia who disappear in a vehicle.

The same session will be held in the morning, 10 to 11:30 a.m., and the afternoon, 3 to 4:30 p.m., at the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, 4001 E. Fletcher Ave., in Tampa. Refreshments will be provided. The event is free but space is limited, so please RSVP by calling (813) 974-8900.

Eric Rinehardt, PhD

Dr. Eric Rinehardt, clinical coordinator of the USF Memory Disorders Clinic, will discuss driving and Alzheimer’s disease; the purpose of Silver Alert; how the system works, including activating and cancelling an alert; critical information callers need to report, and community resources for caregivers.

More than 60 percent of people with dementia will wander from their homes, care facilities or caregivers at some point in the disease process, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

“One of the most frightening experiences is when a loved one drives away in a car and cannot find their way home because of the mind-robbing effects of Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Rinehardt said. “The Silver Alert system is designed to find missing seniors quickly and efficiently, before a tragedy occurs. It provides a safety net for some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

The USF Memory Disorder Clinic one of 15 clinics coordinated by the state Department of Elder Affairs – a network providing services to Floridians with Alzheimer’s disease and their families/caregivers.  The clinic’s staff assists caregivers during and following a Silver Alert, and assesses the need for additional resources when a missing senior is rescued.

 – USF Health –

USF Health is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida’s colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group.  Ranked 34th in federal research expenditures for public universities by the National Science Foundation, the University of South Florida is a high impact global research university.

Media Contacts:
USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute
Melanie Meyer, (813) 396-0658 or

USF Health Communications
Anne DeLotto Baier, (813) 974-3300 or