Chapel Chimes from The Rev. Lucy Turner

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date November 21, 2022

Earlier this year, a new resident was moving in. As her family was getting her settled on the second floor of the Riverview wing, I ran into one of the new resident’s daughters in the hallway. She looked like she could use some help or maybe just a friend so I stopped; that’s when I discovered why she was there. At the moment I identified myself as one of the chaplains, she briefly touched my arm and tears filled her eyes. We talked a little about her mother’s dementia and what led to her coming to Kirkwood.

Tears filled her eyes again as she thanked me for stopping. She was grateful, not so much for what I did for her that day, but more for my reassurance that her mother, a lifelong churchgoer, would not only be cared for physically and emotionally at Kirkwood, but also spiritually through weekly worship services, Bible study, and prayer.

The scene I describe has been repeated time and time again since Kirkwood opened its doors many years ago as a faith-based community. Throughout the gospels, we see how Jesus looked upon the crowds with compassion, stopped at the mere calling of his name to heal someone and loved humankind beyond all measure. At Kirkwood, we teach these stories and, I pray, live by their example each and every day for the comfort of our residents and the families who entrust them to our care for it is truly a sacred trust.

As we approach Thanksgiving, we invite you to join the Kirkwood community for worship at 10:00am in the chapel on Thanksgiving day. We will sing the great songs of the season and give thanks to God for all of our blessings. Everyone is welcome!


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