About UMRA Cares Committee
The UMRA Cares committee members stand ready throughout the year to assist and support members who may be facing serious illness or experiencing the death of a loved one. This committee was formed by members who know first-hand how important it is to have support in times of stress or loss. If you or someone you know wants to talk with a member of UMRA Cares, you may contact members of the Cares Committee as follows: Ron Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org, (Chair), Margaret Catambay <email@example.com>, Patricia Kelly Hall <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Larry Johnson <email@example.com>, Ron Matross <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Earl Nolting <email@example.com>, Kathleen O'Brien <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Gwen Perun <email@example.com>, Paul Rosenblatt <firstname.lastname@example.org>, or Patricia Tollefson <email@example.com>, Gerald Rinehart <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
You may also leave a message at the UMRA office phone: 612-626-4403.
Mission. The Cares Committee was established to reach out to UMN retirees, UMRA members in particular, and help them address issues of quality of life and well-being. This includes health issues, grief and loss, loneliness, self-actualization, and personal growth.
Cares Committee Activities
Remembrances. Kathleen O'Brien collects the University obituary reports, Pat Tollefson sends sympathy notes to those living within the Metro area and Helen Carlson sends cards for members in the Duluth area. Monthly reports appear in the UMRA newsletter.
Workshops. The Cares Workshop Subcommittee consists of Ron Anderson, Jerry Rinehart, Kathy O’Brien, Earl Nolting, Paul Rosenblatt, and Ron Matross. Most workshops address the general topic of ‘Living Well in Later Life.’ Generally, there are about six such workshops per year right after the luncheon. More ideas for workshops are most welcome.
Cares Surveys. Under the leadership of Ron Matross, the Committee surveys workshop attendees after each event. Margaret (Maggie) Catambay helps with this.
Bookshelf. The CARES Committee writes reviews of books on caregiving and caring. These appear in most issues of the UMRA Newsletter. The Committee seeks to start a book club on caring and caregiving. In the mean time, those interested should subscribe to “Today’s Caregiver.com’s Book club:” https://caregiver.com/cg-community/book-club
Caregiving Information and Assistance. Throughout the year, including summer, your UMRA CARES committee hopes to provide you with support and resources through emails, programs and on our website on dealing with the death or serious illness of a loved one. For assistance and support in the event of the death or serious illness of an UMRA member or family member, please e-mail us at email@example.com or call 612-626-4403, and leave a message for UMRA Cares. Also, if you learn of someone who is facing a difficult life challenge, please contact the UMRA Cares Committee.
Cares General Calendar
For hotline or other information call 651-280-CARE (2273)
U of MN Human Resources (HR)
Univ. of Minn. Retirees Association (UMRA) Workshops
See workshop news on UMRA website and in most recent UMRA newsletter.
Misc. Grief Support Groups – Allina Health
Listed separately by Twin Cities regions
Care Guide Program
In 2015, several members of our Cares Committee were trained by Dr. Robert Kane to assist UMRA members with caregiving services as needed. Due to Dr. Kane’s unexpected death in early 2017, we were unable to continue the program. Instead, we partnered with the Caregiving Services Program of Wilder Foundation. Members and other University retirees are encouraged to take advantage of Wilder services by calling their hotline at 651-280-CARE (2273). A brochure on upcoming events can be found by clicking here.
Beginning Jan. 22 (2018) Wilder Services for Aging will teach a mild exercise class designed to reduce the risk of falls by improving muscle strength, flexibility and mobility from practicing coordinated movements in a slow, circular, flowing motion.
The workshop will run for 24 sessions, from 10:30 to 11:30am every Monday and Wednesday at Wilder, 650 Marshall Ave, St. Paul. It is free but a donation of $60 is suggested. No prior experience is necessary. Please register by Tuesday, Jan 16.
Despite a major snowstorm blanketing the Twin Cities the day before, dozens of retirees participated in the “Meaning in Retirement” workshop following the UMRA luncheon on January 23, 2018. The topic was a first for UMRA and it soon became clear that it struck a chord among those attending.
A panel of UMRA members, led by Cares Committee chair Ron Anderson, shared stories about their individual journeys into retirement and what it is that gives them a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. The answer, in the words of one: “Enjoy life, do good, and try to add value.”
Due to longer life expectancy, many of us could live for 10 to 30 years after retiring, which means we could live through several major changes in interests, activities, and identities in later life. This workshop, led by UMRA Cares Committee Chair Ron Anderson, is designed to help guide our thinking about assessing and reassessing the primary meaning and purpose in our lives.
The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life that Matters, by Emily Esfahani Smith, explains a growing new movement within psychological research that is fundamentally reshaping our understanding of the good life. It’s a very readable book for academics and non-academics alike.
As the Cares Committee has been exploring alternative transportation options, they have encountered some successes and some frustrations. They invite readers to share their experiences and recommendations with others.
If you have given up your car, or if driving at night is a challenge, you can still enjoy concerts—in your own living room. Start by requesting email delivery of Ostinato, the School of Music electronic newsletter to receive information on upcoming SOM events and note which ones are live-streamed.
Letters from Madelyn: Chronicles of a Caregiver recounts the difficulties of managing caregiving in a true story that reveals the character of a caregiver who must contend with every emotion, yet manage this stage of life with growth, grace, and humor. If you worry about the headaches and traumas of wearing out together, especially as a member of an intimate pair, you will find this book relevant and comforting.