Caregiver Encouragement from Kirkwood: Chloe Cantrell

By Lauren Sanderlin | Publish Date October 28, 2020

Here at Kirkwood, we have a whole team of carefully chosen and trained caregivers who are ready to provide assistance and companionship to any of our residents as needs arise. During this season of the COVID-19 Pandemic, since family members have been unable to come and visit and give occasional care when needed, our team has stepped into those different roles for some of our residents and we have been very thankful to have this incredible team of individuals to be there for our families. We know that a lot of you have had to step into the role of caregiver for a loved one this year and we want to be a resource and encouragement for you in this season.

I will be talking to people from our Care Team and sharing their words with you in the days to come! Today, I spoke with one of our newest caregivers and asked her to share a few things about herself and some encouragement with you.

“My name is Chloe Cantrell and I am from Springville, Alabama. I started working at Kirkwood about 5 months ago and being a personal caregiver is one of the best and most rewarding jobs!”

I asked Chloe to share her favorite part about her job:

“My favorite part of being a caregiver is being able to be a source of comfort for resident’s during this pandemic. For many, they haven’t seen their families in months. You [the caregiver] are the person that they look forward to seeing every day. I love being the person that someone can talk to and be comfortable with. These residents are like family to me now!”

Her words of encouragement to all of the new caregivers are so wise:

“I would encourage anyone who has recently became a caregiver to a loved one during this pandemic to just be patient and to put yourselves in your loved one’s shoes. This pandemic has been very challenging mentally, emotionally, and physically for many people, especially those [seniors] who are trying to adapt to life with a new routine or place.”

Thank you, Chloe for the words of encouragement for our community readers who are stepping into the role of caregiver. We are thankful for you and everything you do for our residents here at Kirkwood!

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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.

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

My only regret is that I didn’t move here sooner with my late husband. We would have loved living here together. It would have been perfect for us to travel without the responsibilities of a home.

Nell Mehaffey Current Resident

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

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

We love that Kirkwood isn’t only church affiliated, but faith is a very prominent, important part of the community. To us, there just couldn’t be a better place.

Bob Tate Current Resident

If you asked me, I would say it gets better every year!

Robbie Sevier Former Resident of 37 Years

We’re a family. We really are a family.

Bet Kesmodel Current Resident