Bains bill to help wandering seniors passes through Public Safety Committee

The bill has another stop in a committee before it heads to the Assembly floor.

A bill authored by Asm. Jasmeet Bains (D–Delano) to protect wandering seniors has passed through the Assembly Public Safety Committee. 

It passed with unanimous support. 


The big picture: Assembly Bill 2541 would require the commission for the Peace Officer Training Standard (POST) to create guidelines addressing wandering associated with Alzheimer’s disease, autism and dementia. 

Why it matters: According to Bains’ office, over 70 percent of Califrornia’s counties do not have a rapid response program or registry to aid in finding a missing person with a cognitive impairment. 

  • Further, over 60 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease will wander at some point. The National Institute on Aging estimates that six million Americans are living with Alzehimer’s. 
  • Children who have autism are also affected, with nearly 50 percent of them engaging in wandering behavior, putting them in danger. Around one in 35 children have autism, while one in 45 adults do as well, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

What we’re watching: With approval from the Public Safety Committee, AB 2541 now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. 

What they’re saying: “Finding people when they are wandering is critical because the survival rate drops dramatically the longer it takes to find a missing person,” Bains said. “This bill will give law enforcement more tools to help ensure the safe return of wandering individuals to families and caregivers.” 

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