Older Couple’s Dementia Alzheimer’s Escape Tennessee Assisted Living Facility Remembers Exit Codes

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Elderly couple, both with dementia, escape nursing home with Morse code training husband taught in military

  • An elderly couple used their knowledge of the Morse code to escape from an assisted living facility in Tennessee
  • Man and woman suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have deciphered and memorized the code on an electronic door lock at home in Lebanon
  • The pair went missing for about 30 minutes before a stranger found them about two blocks from the facility
  • Husband revealed that he had ‘worked with Morse code in the military before’ and used the experience to learn the code from an electronic keyboard
  • State officials fined Elmcroft’s home $ 2,000 as a result of the escape
  • The facility has since changed all of its exit codes and has pledged to monitor residents more often

A couple living in an assisted living facility in Tennessee managed to escape the “secure memory unit” using skills acquired in the military.

The couple who got away from the Elmcroft in Lebanon near Nashville managed to decipher and remember the code used to lock an electric door.

The duo, suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, were found outside close to the facility for half an hour, about two blocks away, before a stranger picked them up and brought them back home.

An elderly couple used their knowledge of the Morse code to escape from an assisted living facility in Tennessee

An elderly couple used their knowledge of the Morse code to escape from an assisted living facility in Tennessee

The man revealed that he had 'worked with Morse code in the military before' and used the experience to learn the code from an electronic keyboard (photo file)

The man revealed that he had ‘worked with Morse code in the military before’ and used the experience to learn the code from an electronic keyboard (photo file)

Staff were unable to explain how the couple managed to escape, which is secured behind a locked door with an electronic keypad.

When questioned, the man explained how he had “worked with Morse code before in the military.”

He used his experience to listen to staff as they hit the PIN in the door to escape according to Tennessee Department of Health documents seen by The Tennessean. The couple was not mentioned by name in the archives.

As a result of the outbreak, Elmcroft was fined $ 2,000 by state officials.

The facility also said it will prevent similar incidents by monitoring residents more often and ensuring that the escaped man will have more “ walking time outside the facility with a staff member, ” said state records.

The husband’s daughter has also promised to visit more often to take her father outside more often.

The pair went missing for about 30 minutes before a stranger found them about two blocks from the facility (file photo)

The pair went missing for about 30 minutes before a stranger found them about two blocks from the facility (file photo)

The Elmcroft has also changed all combinations on its exit doors.

‘The safety of our residents is the highest priority for our senior living community. We are grateful that both residents have returned safely to the community, ”read a statement from the facility.

“We reported the situation to the state and their families immediately after the event and cooperated fully with the state in the assessment.”

The Elmcroft Assisted Living Facility in Lebanon, Tennessee, pictured, also changed all combinations on the exit doors as a result of the episode

The Elmcroft Assisted Living Facility in Lebanon, Tennessee, pictured, also changed all combinations on the exit doors as a result of the episode

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