United Methodist Retirement Center

A Methodist Heritage and Methodist Values of Grace and Caring

Opened in 1910, United Methodist Retirement Center (UMRC) was started by six Methodist Episcopal women who felt Salem needed a home for seniors with limited funds and family support. Since its start, UMRC has developed into a robust, grassroots, non-profit community that echoes the priorities of The United Methodist Church in its mission statement.

Open to all and committed to providing a life affirming community through end of life by providing high quality and affordable housing and support services in an atmosphere where residents, children and staff become an extension of family and each person’s dignity, worth and choice are respected.

Today UMRC is a three acre campus in the heart of Salem, Oregon providing housing and services in a number of different ways - Jason Lee Manor which offers independent apartment living for 75 low income seniors; Willson House, a residential care community that provides round- the-clock assistance and care for 60 low- to- moderate income seniors; and the Willson House Child Development Center (WHCDC) which was started in 1985 and currently serves 27 children. WHCDC was the first child care center in Oregon to combine a child development center with a senior residential care community. UMRC believes when seniors assist in child care settings they have a positive effect on the classroom and provide a mutually beneficial partnership between themselves and the child. One recent study showcased in “Childhood Education Magazine,” reported children in intergenerational programs achieved higher personal and social development and higher reading scores than children in regular programs. At the same time, our residents who volunteer gain great satisfaction of giving back by mentoring and sharing their special gifts with the younger generation while receiving the benefits of emotional health and an increase in neurological and cognitive abilities.

Although many seniors who come to live at Willson House have some investments and social security, over time those monies are spent down just as a resident’s health declines and their care needs increase. UMRC offers a benevolent care program that provides gap funding for residents who can pay only a portion of their increasing cost of care by providing some additional dollars to make up the difference of the cost of care. This fund, which impacted 15 residents in 2012, is solely supported by donations and yearlong fundraising efforts from key donors, churches, United Methodist Women’s groups, bequests and grants and allows residents to stay in the home they have chosen and love.

UMRC also makes a significant impact on the surrounding community by facilitating and hosting support groups, trainings, civic organizations and religious services. Diabetic Support Services, Toastmasters and Marion Polk Food Share are just a few of our community partners. In a most recent 2012 tally, UMRC was found to impact over 4,500 individuals in the Salem community with the help of its partners. What an important mission in our district and conference. For more information about UMRC’s services and programs go to www.umrcsalem.org.

Learn more at the Retirement Center Website: www.umrcsalem.org

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