Ask Kirkwood


A Life Plan Community is a lifestyle option enjoyed by thousands of seniors around the country. Life Plan Communities emphasize lifelong learning, personal growth, and health and well-being. As a Life Plan Community, Kirkwood by the River offers five lifestyle options: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing Care and Short-term Rehabilitation. These options allow for resort-style services and amenities, maintenance-free living in a residential setting and personal support designed to help maintain health and independence for as long as possible.

Kirkwood by the River is not owned by a larger corporation and stands strong as a nonprofit community. The nonprofit status encompasses numerous benefits that provide additional value in senior living. First and foremost, 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 offers a long-lasting home and family for our residents.

All denominations can participate in worship services and Bible studies. Kirkwood by the River welcomes all walks of faith and embraces everyone with the love and compassion as shown through our ministry. In addition to the weekly Bible studies and worship services held on-site and led by our full-time chaplain, transportation is offered to Sunday worship services at Independent Presbyterian Church.

Kirkwood by the River was built in the spring of 1980 as a ministry of Independent Presbyterian Church. To learn more about our history, visit History & Mission.

Kirkwood by the River offers a comprehensive array of resort-style services and amenities, including restaurant-style dining, a private dining room for each community, library, chapel, veranda, covered pavilion on the river, lounge areas, beauty shop, fitness center, heated swimming pool, housekeeping (including linen service), scheduled transportation, full maintenance services, and a Kirkwares Gift Shop. We also offer a variety of programs and cultural pursuits both on and off the community. For a complete listing of services and amenities, go to Retirement Living.

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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 Former 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 Former 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 Former Resident