Staff Spotlight: Claudia Reach Life Enrichment Director

By Lauren Sanderlin | Publish Date November 06, 2020

This month our spectacular Staff Spotlight is our Life Enrichment Director, Claudia Reach. I’m sure many of you know Claudia – you may see a lot of her in the photos of our residents as they are participating in our programs because Claudia is our superhero who plans them all! She has been with Kirkwood since March of 2015 so this year is her 5th year leading our community in all of the wonderful programs and events we have and while 2020 looks a lot different than years past, she still does such a wonderful job making sure the lives of our residents are full and rich!

Her (typical – non pandemic) monthly programs calendars are full of outings to our favorite restaurants, exercise classes, shopping trips, art classes, game groups, musical performances, special events, and so much more! She really cares about our residents and their interests and wellbeing. She is always checking in to make sure they are happy and healthy and living their best life at Kirkwood.

Some of our residents’ favorite things about Claudia are her kindness and caring attitude toward everyone she meets, her ability to let loose and be silly just to brighten someone’s day, and her amazing planning and organization skills! She is one of the busiest bees on Kirkwood’s campus because she is always bouncing around planning and executing the next activity for our community to enjoy and so so so much work goes into that job.

Claudia we are thankful for you! Here are some photos of her at different events and activities (pre and post covid).


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