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Decision Guide

Things to consider when you’re looking at Kirkwood by the River. Please choose the option that best describes you.

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Senior’s Perspective

This Decision Guide is designed to help seniors who are thinking of moving to Kirkwood by the River. It is also intended to help you engage openly in a dialogue with your family and friends.

Thorough research and thoughtful consideration are critical tools as you consider your move to a Life Plan Community. This Decision Guide serves as a resource to educate you and your families on the many benefits of living at Kirkwood by the River.

“I’m exploring my retirement options.”

DECISION GUIDE

There are many reasons, but most importantly you will become part of a welcoming and caring community – both at Kirkwood and in the greater Birmingham area. Newcomers find Kirkwood an ideal location. It is private and serene enclosed by beautiful, natural surroundings, but still just a short drive to Birmingham and all that the city can offer. Here are a few more reasons.

You’ll have the freedom to live your life in the way you choose. Kirkwood provides opportunities to build friendships through social gatherings and outings, such as playing bridge or other games and taking trips to sporting or cultural events. You’ll benefit from many conveniences and safety features, including scheduled personal transportation, barbershop/beauty salon on campus, on-site medical services, 24-7 security guard, and an emergency call system in every apartment. You’ll be free from the stresses and worries of home ownership, and you’ll have the freedom to participate in the activities, classes, and outings of your choice. You can create the retirement you want.

Moving from your present home to a Life Plan Community is a big decision, and in many ways, it affects both you and your loved ones. In our experience, we’ve found that communication is the key. Let your family know the primary reasons why you are considering a move (e.g. health concerns, household chores and home maintenance, desire for friends and companionship).

When the time is right, tour Kirkwood together. Let them meet our staff members and residents and hear first-hand how satisfied current residents are. Above all, remember that your children and other family members love and care about you. Your happiness and well-being are their utmost concerns. When they see you are confident about your future, they will be confident – and supportive, too.

Kirkwood offers a full continuum of care — Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Short-term Rehabilitation.

Having all of these resources right on campus has many benefits. Our residents can shape their retirement lifestyle with comfort and security. This is especially convenient for our couples who move in together. Should one spouse need additional care, the other spouse can visit frequently offering support and staying connected. Experts in the senior living industry overwhelmingly agree that a Life Plan Community provides the highest financial security, value, and peace of mind for residents and their families.

The leadership, board members, and staff of Kirkwood understand that preserving finances is a top priority of seniors. A Life Plan Community should always be willing to provide adequate financial information to allow prospective residents to understand the financial condition of the organization. Examples of such information include audited financial statements, information regarding accreditation, amount of debt, information about reserves, and financial forecasts for future years.

Our community has been on sound and secure financial footing since our doors opened more than 35 years ago. A larger corporation does not own us. Kirkwood is proud of its nonprofit status which provides valuable benefits in senior living. The entire focus of the community is to provide a quality, meaningful and secure life for all its residents. Other nonprofit benefits available to residents are favorable tax credits and exemptions. As a ministry of Independent Presbyterian Church, Kirkwood by the River offers a unique lifestyle of services and care that strives to meet everyone’s needs and provides a long-lasting home and family for our residents.

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Adult Child’s Perspective

This Decision Guide is intended to help you as you help your aging parent with their retirement decisions. The objective is to arrive at a decision that allows your parent or loved one to feel comfortable and happy – and for you to have peace of mind.

“I’m doing some research for my retiring parents or a loved one.”

Often, you’re in the best position to know when your parents or a close loved one are ready to make a move to a senior living community. You see the signs. Maybe Mom is feeling isolated and has stopped socializing, or Dad has become more forgetful. You are worried about their nutrition and meal planning. Home maintenance is becoming too much of a burden. There are many signs, and they usually become more pronounced over time. Eventually, single, isolated problems are multiplied, making living conditions more complex and worrisome.

Often, it’s a direct, heart-to-heart talk with a parent or loved one to point out your concerns and discuss possible solutions openly. As with everything else you do, this is a conversation grounded in love and sensitivity and a genuine concern for your parent’s well-being. Ignoring the problems doesn’t help. In fact, over time it only makes things worse.

You should know that this is a typical scenario, one that every child with an aging parent faces at one time or another. You’re not alone, and the caring staff at Kirkwood will be happy to help you work through the considerations that inevitably come with the signs of aging.

The first thing we recommend is that you visit our community and talk to staff and current residents. This will give you tremendous insight into Kirkwood as a vibrant senior living community and will help create a high level of confidence that this is the right place for your loved one.

Start with our wide choice of residences. The Kirkwood residences are built for comfort and livability – and designed ready for you to make it your own. You’ll find many of the essential amenities common in any fine home with the extra touches that make your home just right for senior living.

Wherever they move at Kirkwood, your parent will find their residence to be full-featured with no maintenance where they can live abundantly, come and go freely and enjoy easy access to community amenities and parking. Plus, all of our apartments come with a patio or balcony that allows them to take in the natural beauty of our location and campus.

As a Life Plan Community, Kirkwood offers independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing care. This means that, as health care needs change, we’re there to provide expertise and comfort every step of the way.

All of these services are provided on one campus, so your parent can stay within the same supportive and friendly community when their health or that of a spouse changes. Enhanced wellness living at Kirkwood by the River is achieved by providing facilities for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. There is a heated swimming pool, fitness center, organized fitness classes, and walking trails. We also provide onsite medical services.

Industry experts overwhelmingly agree that a Life Plan Community such as Kirkwood provides the highest financial security, value, and peace of mind for residents and their families. As health needs change, residents are secure in the knowledge that high-quality supportive services are available, when needed, in an attractive, professionally staffed, onsite environment.

Rest assured that Kirkwood by the River is a safe and secure environment. Our apartments feature a 24 –hour emergency alert system as well as fire and smoke detectors. Also, an on-site security staff assures your loved one’s physical security.

Kirkwood offers residents freedom from potentially dangerous circumstances in their daily lives and provides the basis for residents to maintain financial security for life. Kirkwood offers a predictable, comfortable, and secure lifestyle.

Kirkwood understands how vital it is to make sure that a senior living community is governed and operated in a manner that allows it to remain financially sound and meet its long-term commitments to residents.

A Life Plan Community should always be willing to provide adequate financial information and explanations to allow prospective residents to understand the financial condition of the organization. Examples of such information include audited financial statements, information regarding accreditation, amount of debt, information about reserves, and economic forecasts for future years.

Our community has been on sound and secure financial footing since our doors opened 35 years ago. A larger corporation does not own us. Kirkwood is proud of its nonprofit status which provides valuable benefits in senior living. The entire focus of the community is to provide a quality, meaningful and secure life for all its residents. Other nonprofit benefits available to residents are favorable tax credits and exemptions. As a ministry of Independent Presbyterian Church, Kirkwood by the River offers a unique lifestyle of services and care. Our budget reflects our mission -- the care and well-being of our residents.

The financial benefits of moving to a Life Plan Community include locking in current healthcare costs at current market rates. Your entrance fees function as a guarantee that your healthcare needs will be met. These entrance fees mean that your health care costs become predictable.

When your parent or parents move to Kirkwood, the only thing you’ll need to do is share your time with them. As a full-service, life plan community, Kirkwood by the River has staff trained and prepared to meet most any need. Kirkwood provides services and a safe, secure environment while giving them the freedom to enjoy life the way they want it. From meals to medication to (when necessary) assistance with daily grooming, all of our residents’ needs for daily living are addressed by professionals who love what they do.

Life at Kirkwood for your parent means peace of mind for you, with more quality time and enjoyment spent together.

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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 Current Resident

We’re a family. We really are a family.

Bette Kesmodel Current Resident