A Silver Alert is a public notification system in the U.S. to broadcast information about missing persons — especially senior citizens with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other mental disabilities.
One was issued Thursday, June 9, after 80-year-old Bennie Ruth Bowell left her Los Angeles home around noon Wednesday, June 8, in her gray Cadillac to purchase lunch at a restaurant for herself and her grandchildren, who were waiting at home. Bowell had left her cell phone on the counter.
When she did not return, the family contacted the Los Angeles Police Department and filed a missing person’s report.
By evening the situation had grown desperate. Family and friends began searching the area, to no avail. The next morning, LAPD contacted the California Highway Patrol to issue a Silver Alert.
CHP’s Emergency Notification and Tactical Alert Center issued an all-points bulletin. Electronic message signs were activated in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino counties. The signs read: “At risk missing, gry cadi cts, lic/6BPF973.”
At about noon Thursday, 24 hours after Bowell had left to get lunch, a 911 caller reported a Cadillac matching the broadcast description driving south on Highway 243 in the Pine Cove area.
CHP Officer Mike Murawski, on patrol in the Idyllwild area, intercepted the slow-moving vehicle near the intersection of Marion View Drive in Idyllwild. When contacted, “Runaway Ruth” was disoriented, hungry and tired. She had reportedly been driving for more than 24 hours. When the family was informed, they were in tears and immediately left to reunite with Bowell at the San Gorgonio Pass CHP station in Beaumont.
Bowell’s family reached the station around 3:30 that afternoon, thanks to the concerted efforts of law-enforcement officers, the Silver Alert, one eagle-eyed 911 caller and Murawski.
Thank God this story ended so well.
Don’t give tragedy the opportunity to strike your family; there is help available.
Keeping Us Safe is a national organization that provides practical, real-life solutions to older drivers and their families. Our programs are designed to help older drivers with diminished driving skills make a smooth transition from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat without deterioration to their dignity, personal pride or independence.
Our programs provide families with the missing link between their desire to bring this issue to a peaceful resolution, and their ability to actually do so.
“Beyond Driving with Dignity; The workbook for older drivers and their families” serves as the foundation for the “Beyond Driving with Dignity” program. It is a ‘working’ workbook, designed to remove the family’s opinion, emotion and speculation from the challenging process of deciding whether or not a loved-one should continue or if, in the interest of safety, they need to retire from driving.
We also offer our Certified “Beyond Driving with Dignity” Professionals who have been specifically trained and certified in Keeping Us Safe’s “Enhanced Self-Assessment Program” for older drivers. With the 3-hour (in-person) self-assessment program, families benefit from a third-party, impartial intervention in resolving this very delicate and sensitive issue with their loved-one.
Lastly, our Certified “Beyond Driving with Dignity” Professionals offer the following presentations to the public:
1) A Safe Drive Through the Aging Process (meant for older drivers themselves), and
2) Adults with Aging Parent Drivers
Each of these 1-hour presentations are typically offered at no charge.
Keeping Us Safe’s “self-assessment program” for older drivers has become a respected resource for physicians, hospital systems, and court systems looking for help for older drivers and their concerned families. Certified “Beyond Driving with Dignity” Professionals can be found throughout the United States.
Our programs are designed to save lives while helping to ease the burden of the family as they find themselves faced with this very challenging issue.
For more information on our workbook, our self-assessment program for older drivers, to schedule a presentation for your business or organization, or to learn more about becoming one of the Nation’s Certified “Beyond Driving with Dignity” Professionals, visit Keeping Us Safe at http://www.keepingussafe.org or call us at 877-907-8841.