Did you know that’s it’s common for elderly people to go missing? Usually, we think of kids and Amber Alerts. But because there’s a growing number of seniors who also get lost, states now issue Silver Alerts, as well. Sadly, a lot of these people suffer from either Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
For elderly people with either one of these conditions, or simply because their memories aren’t as good as they used to be, they end up far from home and no way to find their way back. As you can imagine, this is terrifying for family members and friends.
You know, in today’s climate, it’s hard to trust people. With so much bad happening in the world, it’s easy to focus on the negative instead of the positive. But when one older gentleman got lost and needed help finding his way, two good Samaritans stepped up to the plate.
This story started in July of this year. A currently engaged couple, Elton Hood and Tracy Eckhardt who are both from New Windsor, Illinois, stopped to get gas in Woodhull. While filling up the tank, Elton engaged in a conversation with an elderly man. Quickly, he recognized that something wasn’t right.
He was extremely confused
As the two talked, Elton found out that this man had been driving around for a week in search of his son’s house. Each day, he had become increasingly more confused, which make a bad situation worse. Fortunately, this guy had run into two incredible people who were more than willing to help him out of a horrible situation.
His name is Dennis
Elton and Tracy also discovered the man’s name was Dennis and he was 80 years old. He started his trip in Arizona with the goal of getting to his son’s house in Wisconsin. But this wasn’t just an ordinary visit. Come to find out, it had been 19 years since Dennis last saw his son.
Getting off course
But somewhere along his travels, Dennis took a wrong turn. Well, actually a lot of wrong turns. At one point, he’d even driven in the wrong direction for hours before realizing it. For seven days, he’d basically been driving around endlessly without getting any closer to his destination.
They needed to do something
Tracy and Elton were determined to do everything they could to make sure Dennis got to his son’s house. So, they wrote out detailed instructions. They also programmed the course into the man’s GPS. But that wasn’t all…they also made sure he had a full tank of gas.
A phone call away
This couple went as far as to provide Dennis with their phone number. That way, if he got lost again, he could call them directly. And it’s a good thing they did because the first plan didn’t work out very well.
Within a short amount of time, Dennis called Tracy and Elton. You guessed it…he was lost…again. That’s when they knew they had to do something different. So, they drove to the older man’s location and had him follow them in his truck. To get to the son’s house took them three hours.
A new friendship and a special bond
These two could’ve just driven straight through but Dennis was 80, after all. Along the way, they stopped at a small diner and treated him to lunch. During that time, a friendship formed and a bond was revealed. You see, Elton was formerly in the Marines while Dennis had been in the Army.
Capturing the journey
Since this was such a unique incident, Tracy decided to capture everything on TikTok. After uploading it to social media, the video went viral. People everywhere were touched by Dennis’ story and the kindness of two strangers.
As Tracy explained, “I wanted to capture a lot of it so I could make that and show him how it looks to the outside world. How everybody else sees it when you do things like this. And how inspiring it can be to other people.” By the way, Dennis made it safely to his son’s house where the two were finally reunited.
You can watch the story unfold by clicking on the video below
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