Tjeerd ‘Ted’ Vanderveen, who suffers from dementia, has been missing since Thursday. (Contributed)

Calls for a silver alert system in Maple Ridge as search for senior continues

School board trustee Pascale Shaw would like to see a notification system in the community

A local school board trustee is asking for people to contact local government about the need for a notification system when a senior or adult goes missing in the community.

Pascale Shaw, who lives in Whonnock, thinks there is an urgent need for a lost and missing adult notification system after the disappearance of Tjeerd ‘Ted’ Vanderveen, 72, who, police said, left his home in the 26500-block of 112th Avenue, at 10:45 a.m., Nov. 28, to go for a walk in the Ferguson Trails area, a location well-known to him, and never returned.

Shaw said the news about Vanderveen continues to spread, but slowly.

RELATED: BC Silver Alert co-founder calls 2019 a tragic year for seniors with dementia

“Every day, we meet people in our own community who still do not know that Ted is missing and, therefore, are not on the lookout for him and are also not aware of what they can do to help,” said Shaw.

Around 10 people were out searching Wednesday, said Vanderveen’s daughter, Julia Marsden, mostly in small groups who know the area well.

She said they are searching by foot and on horseback in the same areas they already searched in case they missed something.

Marsden said they are organizing another larger search for the weekend, but she doesn’t have the details yet about where those search teams will be looking.

RELATED: Case of missing B.C. senior with Alzheimer’s renews call for Silver Alert

Sam Noh is co-founder of the B.C. Silver Alert, a citizen-led initiative to provide a public alerting system so that specific, targeted alerts can assist first responders to locate missing seniors with various forms of dementia and other vulnerable members of the community.

They scan police web sites and then post information about missing persons to their alerts feed where their subscribers are alerted by email, RSS newsreaders, Facebook or Twitter.

However, there is no Silver Alert system in place in the province.

Shaw is asking residents to contact the Mayor, council and both MLA’s to voice support for a notification system and to make suggestions on what this system would look like.

“We realize that this is not a new problem but when it hits so close to home, the need for a solution becomes more urgent,” said Shaw.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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