Realty Watch fan-outs for missing seniors increase |

Last year, seniors in our neighbourhoods learned just how much REALTORS® and the police care.

That’s because when seniors with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia wander away, REALTORS® have a program to keep a look-out for them.

It’s Realty Watch, a partnership between REALTORS® and the police throughout the Lower Mainland. When seniors go missing, the police contact the Board which then sends a fan-out text message to all REALTORS® simultaneously.

How well does this work?

Three years ago, police let REALTORS® know that an elderly woman with dementia had gone missing from her care home and wanted our help to find her.

Within minutes, a fan-out was sent to REALTORS® with a description of the woman, what she was wearing and where she was last seen. A REALTOR® was in that area showing a listing to clients when she walked by. When he saw the fan-out text and realised the description matched the woman he had seen, he called the police.

In 2012, Realty Watch received 34 fan-out requests from municipal police departments and the RCMP throughout the Lower Mainland.

Why is Realty Watch important? Our population is aging and the numbers will only increase in the coming years. The risk of dementia now doubles every five years after age 65, according to the Alzheimer Society of BC.

Since 2006, REALTORS® and police area have committed to work together to prevent crime in our communities and help find missing children, seniors and vulnerable adults.