UMRC was founded in 1906 at a time when there was no Social Security, no such thing as a retirement community, and no safety net for older adults. In those days, the county poor house was the only option for seniors without resources. Compassionate leaders and laymen of the Methodist Church dreamed of a better way to care for “the lonely aged.” Rev. James E. Jacklin, one of UMRC’s founders, wrote: “The old, as the young, need more than bread. They need rest, peace, comfort, care, fellowship and love.”
Their idea for an innovative, nonprofit, and faith-based means of caring for seniors was visionary in its day and caught the attention of local stove manufacturer Frank Porter Glazier, who donated 33 acres from a former county fairground site for the project. In 1906, ground was broken to create the Chelsea “Old People’s Home.”
While much has changed in the last 110 years, including our name, UMRC’s commitment to providing the highest quality, cutting-edge care for all seniors remains steadfast. Today, UMRC offers Michigan’s most diverse housing options and services to seniors of all income levels, including market rate and affordable independent and assisted living options, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, specialized dementia and Alzheimer’s care, innovative therapy, and Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE®.
Over the last six years alone, UMRC has expanded from three locations to nine in Chelsea, Dexter, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Ypsilanti, Lansing, and Jackson, serving over 1,600 older adults annually across twelve Michigan counties. As the senior population continues to grow, UMRC’s vision is to double the number of older adults it serves, in the ways seniors want and need services to be delivered, while focusing on UMRC’s faith-based mission.
Our founders believed in charitable care for older adults who had outlived their savings. 110 years later, their belief remains the cornerstone of UMRC’s faith-based mission. In 1998, the UMRC Foundation was created as the fundraising arm for UMRC. Thanks to our generous donors who join us in this mission, we are proud the UMRC Foundation has provided over $15 million in benevolent care for residents who have exhausted their resources.