A feature article in recognition of National Caregivers Month.

Rachael Evers, Quality Coordinator and Empira site leader at Volunteers of America—Sleepy Eye Care Center, was honored at a celebration luncheon held on Oct. 3 in Blaine. The celebration was a culmination of three years of work and included heart-warming success stories that illustrated how Evers and the other site leaders have positively changed the lives of the residents they serve.

Empira was formed in 2001 by the member organizations—a consortium of four aging services organizations—Elim Care Inc., Presbyterian Homes & Services, Saint Therese and Volunteers of America. All share the common goal of advancing person-centered, clinical and holistic care for their residents. Empira members work in partnership to enrich quality of life for older adults, through applied research that produces holistic clinical excellence.

As Empira site leader at Sleepy Eye Care Center, Evers has implemented three nationally-acclaimed signature quality improvement programs, designed using root cause analysis, applied evidence-based research, and consulting with subject matter experts to improve some of the most challenging issues in the industry. These programs include Fall Prevention and Reduction, Restorative Sleep and Behavioral Expression Management.

Beginning in January 2018, Evers will help Sleepy Eye Care Center implement ResoLute, Empira consortium’s fourth signature program. ResoLute stands for “Resident Empowered Solutions on Living Until the End.” The program strives to support residents and loved ones as they embrace the process of aging with purpose, determination, and an unwavering commitment to uphold what matters most in the late stages of life.

ResoLute is an upstream palliative approach, that begins at the start of the late life chapter. The program provides more time to achieve successful aging, often diminishing the time spent on unnecessary or unwanted medical interventions. ResoLute is NOT an end-of-life program. The term “late life” represents an introduction into the final stage of life, during which life expectancy is less than three years, but greater than six months, due to irreversible advanced age-related decline or diagnosis of a life-limiting illness.