My Life. My Plan. My Community. My Life Plan Community is Kirkwood by the River

By Matthew | Publish Date December 12, 2018

From the Newsletter Spring 2018

We make financial plans. We make recreational plans. We make plans for the future. So why not make plans for ourselves, for life now?

This is the philosophy behind a Life Plan Community. Life Plan Communities, formerly known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities, offer the independence and freedom of choosing what your next step in retirement looks like. As a full-service retirement community, Life Plan Communities offer a continuum of care so that you may make your decision on care before an incident may occur.

Kirkwood by the River is proud to be a Life Plan Community. We offer Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Medicare Rehabilitation. Not only do we provide residents a freedom from home-owner responsibilities, delicious meals, a fabulous calendar of events and activities, and the security of a safe and welcoming environment, but we also help navigate the “what ifs” that come with aging.

“The benefit of a Life Plan Community is being able to choose where you will receive healthcare services if and when you need them,” says President and CEO of Kirkwood by the River Chad Carter. “When something happens, maybe accident or health based, and you are not a part of a Life Plan Community, your healthcare provider or your children may make your decision for you. This model allows you to have input, so there is no worry and no guessing on what’s next.”

The Life Plan Community was termed by LeadingAge, an association created to educate, serve and advocate for nonprofit senior living service providers across the nation in order to inspire our country to view aging differently. Working together with members, they lead innovative practices for service to seniors, educate senior living professionals on new cutting-edge initiatives, and strive to advance the interest of the aging consumer.

“Two of the most important assets LeadingAge provides to Kirkwood’s employees are advocacy and education,” Mr. Carter explained. “They fight for change in public policy and represent seniors appropriately in political arenas. And aside from the seminars and workshops during the annual conference, LeadingAge brings nonprofits in the senior living industry together to learn from one another. That information and camaraderie is vital as we strive to provide the highest quality of living to our residents and their families.”

Kirkwood by the River has proudly been a member of LeadingAge for more than 20 years. In order to properly hear the concerns of so many organizations, LeadingAge has individual state associations which are governed by LeadingAge national out of Washington D.C. In 2017, Mr. Carter was elected Chairman of the Board for LeadingAge Alabama to serve for the 2018 year. We are proud to have such strong representation in our local chapter of LeadingAge, and Mr. Carter’s commitment to learn, grow, and excel in senior living service will continue to propel Kirkwood by the River forward as a leading provider of retirement living in our state.


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