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UAH nursing students, faculty, Alzheimer’s Association lobbies for Silver Alert Bill

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  One hundred nursing students from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and three faculty members boarded buses bound for Montgomery on Wednesday. They left before sunrise with hopes of making a difference in the lives of patients with Alzheimer's and dementia.

"It's an opportunity to help people and that's what nurses do," Student Dawn Brown said.

Dozens of UAH students and a few faculty members took their support of the Silver Alert to Montgomery.

"It's HB 247 which is the Silver Alert Bill," Amy Hunter, Clinical Associate Professor at the College of Nursing, said. "That's just like an Amber Alert but it would be put in place for senior adults, or adults of any age that are affected with cognitive impairment in an instance that they were to go missing."

These students are members of Nursing 312, an independent gerontology course at the college.

"We are currently talking about Alzheimer's, dementia, and this is something we felt would be a good professional advocacy for us to participate in," Hunter said.

The Silver Alert bill would push for more training for law enforcement officers, and anyone, who helps search for a missing person with Alzheimer's and dementia. That's important to students like Rachel Snider.

"They get out at home and they wander away, and sometimes they're less than a mile from home, but the outcome is so terrible because we didn't find them quick enough," Snider said of the worst-case scenarios.