Shining a Light on Alzheimers with ACA

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date November 19, 2019

Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama is a local organization that we have been partnering with for the past few years because we stand behind their mission and want to do everything we can to serve the Alzheimer’s patients, caregivers, and professionals in central Alabama. We have seen the devastating effects that this disease can have not only on patients but also on family members, friends, and communities. Our leadership and community feels like it is our call to do anything we can to spread awareness and provide support not only through Kirkwood programs, like our Memory Care Assisted Living, but also through wonderful local organizations, like ACA, who we have seen put in the hard work to make a difference.

This year, Kirkwood pledged to raise and donate $1000 for ACA and we decided to host a Chili Cook Off earlier this month to allow friends and members of our community to contribute if they felt led to do so. The first annual Kirkwood Chili Cook Off benefitting ACA was a huge success! We had 8 staff participants cook the best chili they know how and over 100 residents, staff, and friends come to taste and crown a Chili King or Queen! Third place went to Kirkwood’s CFO, Sonny Widman with his Cincinnati Chili. If you have never had Cincinatti Chili it is quite an experience; with a big kick and hints of chocolate and cinnamon, this dish is best served over spaghetti noodles and topped with onions, jalapeños, and sharp cheddar cheese. Second place went to our Marketing Director, Sandi Hall with her Deer Camp Chili. She used deer venison that came from her husband and sons’ most recent hunting trip and gave it all of the classic and savory chili flavors. The first place Chili Queen title went to Assisted Living RN, Lindsey Cullom for her Chuckwagon Chili. It was good to the very last drop and the perfect chili consistency, creamy with the right amount of chunky chili goodness!

All in all the event was a good time for everyone and we raised over $2300 for the organization – now that is something to cheer about! We are so thankful for the generous hearts of all of those who contributed to this fundraiser and know that this gift will be stewarded well by our friends at ACA.


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