Guest Post from our Rehab Director, Brian Farr: What are your therapy options and which is best for you?

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date November 30, 2020

When identifying the next best steps for yourself or your loved one after a medical event or decline in function, it is important to find the appropriate fit. Without the right rehab setting, it can be challenging to drive successful outcomes. Often, the choice is between inpatient rehab and subacute rehab. Inpatient rehab is typically located at a standalone rehab hospital or on a rehab unit attached to a hospital. Subacute rehab is completed through a rehab unit located within a skilled nursing facility.  Both inpatient rehab and subacute, or skilled nursing rehab, specialize in physical rehabilitation and medical care with the focus of restoring independence and enabling patients to return to their prior living situation.  

Subacute Rehab is one of the many services offered at Kirkwood by the River through our partnership with RehabCare. Rehabilitation at Kirkwood includes, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy. Often it is stated that skilled nursing rehab is less intense than inpatient rehab and in part, that can be true. At Kirkwood, the therapy department focuses on identifying the perfect level of challenge for each patient and work with them to achieve goals. Perhaps that “just right challenge” is more difficult and we are working to send them home independently, therefore, we push hard to meet strength and endurance goals.  Or maybe the goal is to transition to one of our community’s other levels of care (Independent living, assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing). With this plan, we may choose a more moderate challenge level. Either way, during this time we work diligently with you to try and ease the stresses of your coming transition. 

At times, we are used to help you bridge the gap between levels of care and are working to improve the patients ability to safely live on a lower level of care by enhancing environmental engagement in order to participate in self-care tasks. Other times, we are helping with leisure pursuits to improve a patient’s quality of life. By providing this patient-centered, individualized approach we, as a team, are able to work to get you or your loved one operating at your best. 

Rehabilitation at Kirkwood by the River is available 7 days a week and typically starts on the first day of admission. Therapy sessions can include a variety of group and individualized treatment sessions with varied durations based on the patient’s needs.  Navigating the world of post-acute rehab options can be challenging, but it is important to remember you are not alone in the process, we are here to help!


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