A Special Mother’s Day


The residents at Scholl Canyon Estates independent living have been isolated at the facility, following orders surrounding COVID-19. The residents and staff have all been very cautious and followed the guidelines set forth by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and Safer-At-Home order.

Following the safeguards appeared to work because, as of May 10, not one resident or staff member tested positive for COVID-19, according to Scholl Canyon Estates community managers Renee and William Rauscher.

The cost of following these safe guidelines was high for the residents. They had to be separated from their families. This was very difficult for many of them but on Mother’s Day there was a small reprieve from the isolation as family members were, for the first time in weeks, allowed to visit with their loved ones masked-face-to-masked face.

“I completely understand why they need to do this and support [Scholl Canyon] 100%,” said Jeff Dodge.

Jeff and his wife Patricia were visiting her mother Gilda Giancalone at the facility on Mother’s Day.

“It’s been really hard,” Gilda said.

The family has been able to drop some things off over the last few weeks but had not visited until Sunday.

“We have to keep reminding each other why we are doing this,” Patricia said of her mother’s isolation.

Eva Przybyla was there to see Gordon Reynertson, a WWII veteran who is a resident at Scholl Canyon. Przybyla said she had to come up with creative ideas for the couple to make the best of his time in isolation.

“I have only been able to see him from behind a fence,” she said. “His son hasn’t been able to visit him either.”

Reynertson is 96 years old. He enjoys visits not only with family but also with fellow residents but those too have been limited.

“He eats in his room; the [residents] aren’t allowed to visit each other’s apartments,” she said.

Przybyla asked Reynertson to write down things he did during the day and share them with her during their nightly phone conversations. She buys books for them to both read that they can then discuss.

For Reynertson, the isolation has been different but he understands the necessity.

“It’s been kind of a pain but it’s a good idea,” he said.

Mary Kaser’s family was also visiting her for the first time in a long while. They were enjoying spending Mother’s Day with mom.

Judy and Bill Kaser were grateful to Scholl Canyon for their proactive approach to the pandemic and keeping Mary safe. Bill was born and raised in Glendale, Mary is a retired teacher from RD White. He said it was nice to have his mom stay in the town they knew so well. The family has been able to see her a few times in the past few weeks, but didn’t enjoy “real” visits.

“She lives on the third floor and she would come out on her balcony and we were down in the parking,” Judy said.

But those couldn’t replace being able to sit with her, together, like they did on Sunday.

“Fortunately we have an amazing caregiver,” Judy added.

Judy Esclanda is Mary’s caregiver who is able to stay overnight with her, which gives the family great peace of mind.

The Mother’s Day visits were made possible for the residents of Scholl Canyon Estates by having chairs placed under the covered parking area in acceptable socially distant spacing. During the visits pianist Hazel Canon kept the families entertained with soft music. Canon also teaches art to the residents.

The Rauschers are proud of how their staff and the residents have faced this pandemic.

“Our main [focus] for our residents and staff is to keep them safe,” William said.