United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson

United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, right, visits Glencroft Center for Healthy Aging in Glendale to discuss COVID-19 and mitigation strategies the facility has taken to help is elderly residents.

United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson wore a mask June 16 while visiting Glendale’s Glencroft Center for Modern Aging, which has been hit hard by COVID-19, with 35 deaths.

The campus has around 900 senior residents; Glencroft says 91 residents had COVID-19 but have recovered.

Glencroft continues to be a model of transparency/communication, providing frequently updated statistics on its website.

Dr. Carson and Rep. Debbie Lesko, who represents the 8th Congressional District including Peoria and part of Glendale, visited Glencroft to discuss the impact of COVID-19.

Glencroft recently integrated a HUD 103 unit uninsured senior living building into its senior community.

HUD residents have access to all restaurants; ZoeLife culture, including the Performance Center (full gym); University Room for continuing education classes; and all health and wellness programs, including the Parkinson’s Immersion and Stroke Immersion programs.

Glencroft’s partnership with HUD provides housing and health care to some of the West Valley’s most vulnerable seniors.

As part of Glencroft’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, a food pantry was set up for residents and staff to regularly shop for items needed.

“While in quarantine, residents and staff had limited time and/or opportunity to shop, so we became their grocery store,” said Scott McClintock, Glencroft’s chief strategy officer.

He added that a COVID-19 testing site was also set up on campus to expedite outcomes as well as dedicated isolation areas to treat infected residents. 

The visit by Carson and Lesko was a boost to morale, according to Greg Sexton of Glencroft.

 “Resident reaction was appreciative of the time Secretary Carson and Congresswoman Lesko spent on campus looking at everything,” Sexton said. “He was in awe of our ZoeLife culture, asking questions about Parkinson’s program and health and wellness.”

Glencroft resident Tom Grode said, “It was such an honor to be able to showcase all that I have learned in the gym with ZoeLife for Dr. Carson. To have him watch me do pushups and count off my reps was absolutely amazing.”