Elderly Couple Escapes Assisted Living Facility Using Military Training


An elderly couple in Tennessee managed to escape from their senior living community last year using military training, News Channel 5 reports.

According to newly-released documents from the Tennessee Department of Health, two residents, a husband and wife, at the Elmcroft of Lebanon assisted living facility briefly broke out of their memory care unit in March 2020. Both residents have cognitive issues, one with dementia and the other Alzheimer's disease.

The memory care unit has a keypad that requires a code to exit, so it was unclear how the couple escaped. The new documents, as reported by the news outlet, shed some insight into how they managed it.

The two elderly residents, who were admitted to the facility in 2019, got out using old military training. They were found around 30 minutes later just a few blocks away by a stranger, who drove them back to Elmcroft.

After they were brought back to the facility, one question everyone demanded an answer to was how did they do it? One of the residents said they used Morse Code while in the military and were able to memorize the code for the keypad as staff members entered the numbers.

When asked for a comment, officials with Elmcroft released the following statement to WSMV.

"The safety of our residents is the top priority at our senior living community," they said. "We are thankful both residents were returned to the community safely."

Elmcroft of Lebanon has been fined $2,000 for the incident after failing to provide safety and daily awareness for the elderly couple, the Tennessee Board For Licensing Health Care Facilities ruled. The facility has since changed all the codes on the exit doors in the memory care unit.

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