A Message from Our President and CEO, Chad Carter

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date February 08, 2023

Dear friends and family,

Phase Two of our expansion project has begun. Brasfield and Gorrie will be leading the construction of our Riverview wing in the main building on Kirkwood’s campus. The third floor, which previously housed Assisted Living, will contain offices, a new cultural arts center, a new wellness center, and a beauty shop. The second floor, formerly Memory Care, will be a Short-term Rehabilitation floor, equipped with more private rooms and a state-of-the-art physical therapy gym. The first floor will continue to be Skilled Nursing, but it will be receiving a total face-lift with a new lobby entrance, new activities and dining room, and more private rooms.

Kirkwood by the River has been a place of vibrant living, a place of peace and comfort, and a place of friendship and community for more than 40 years. We are thankful for these walls that have seen us through celebrations and losses, the most ordinary and the most extraordinary of days. As we move into a new year, we give thanks for the bones of this building, and we ask God’s blessing over Kirkwood as we construct new spaces within which to carry out our mission.

God’s peace,


The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

I fell in love with the cottage and the view from my back porch. I am excited to have a yard for Ginger, my poodle, to play in and my own garage, all within an established retirement community!

Charlotte Hamilton Current Resident

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

We realized we were approaching an age where we might need more assistance than what just downsizing could provide. Knowing we have my sons nearby and the levels of care should we need it is comforting, and the beautiful hillside, river, and the woods makes it that much more appealing. We don’t know of any other community that has the woods, the various levels of care, and so many different amenities.

Phyllis and John Guschke Current Residents

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

When we learned that Cedar Ridge was being developed, that seemed to fit our needs very well. It is the ideal place for the next phase of our retirement.

Carol and Arthur Stephens Current Residents

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

The community's cottage living surrounded by a wooded, natural environment with access to future healthcare services is what attracted us to Kirkwood!

Rick and Jane Ricketts Current Residents