Jennifer Quilimaco, LPN Golden Age Nursing Facility

2019 Nursing School Graduate of Platt College

story and photo by James Coburn, Staff Writer

Jennifer Quilimaco, LPN, helps residents at Golden Age Nursing Facility feel at home and celebrate independence.

Jennifer Quilimaco, LPN, feels she’s done something good each day after going home from work at Golden Age Nursing Facility in Guthrie.
“Every day that I’m here I interact with so many different people. I learn so many different stories from the residents, the coworkers, everybody, with different histories.” Quilimaco said. “And I feel like I’ve learned so much about life from the workers and residents.”
As is the case with many nurses, Quilimaco has always been a caregiver since an early age. They care for a brother or sister then have their own children. She felt loved as an only child.
Quilimaco was busy raising her children when a Companion Hospice nurse set an example of the power and compassion of nursing.
“I watched her interact with a family in the final moments of a person’s life,” Quilimaco said. “She educated them by the way she talked to them. Everything about it – that’s why I really wanted to be a nurse.”
Quilimaco is a 2019 nursing school graduate of Platt College in Oklahoma City. She began her career working in another nursing home when her sister-in-law invited her to join the team. Quilimaco was hooked and fell in love with long-term care.
“I’ve been doing it ever since,” said Quilimaco, who had been a CNA at Golden Age Nursing Facility beginning in 2001.
She has also worked for Companion Hospice as a home health aide. She moved to Texas for a while after she became a nurse. She immediately felt at home at Golden Age when moving back to her hometown of Guthrie.
“It’s helping people, being there for people,” she said. “I want to be there for people when they need it the most.”
Various losses in life and independence can come with aging. Quilimaco said being an LPN allows her to make the geriatric environment the best that it can be. She lets seniors know they have choices in life at Golden Age as she introduces them to their new home. Residents decide when they want to go to bed and wake up.
“A lot of people like our menu here because we have an actual menu everybody can order from,” she continued.
The nursing staff is welcoming, calm, caring, and patient, Quilimaco said. Golden Age Nursing Facility encourages the staff with teamwork. And it works, Quilimaco said.
“They are always very encouraging with scholarship programs. And like I said, working for this company I went from CNA, CMA, home health aide to LPN,” she continued.
Quilimaco is seriously considering going back to school to become a registered nurse. Golden Age is always taking steps to maintain a safe, loving environment. How to maintain excellence is a standard topic at in-service meetings among the staff.
“It’s always educational to what we do every day,” she added. “There are refreshers to what we learned in school and building on top of that. We do our tests.”
Moments come that touch her heart among family members and residents, especially when family members have said, “You know, we don’t know what we would do without you. We appreciate you.”
It’s wonderful for a nurse to hear kind words of gratitude for helping others in life, Quilimaco said.
Today is a good time to become a nurse, Quilimaco would tell anyone considering a thoughtful profession. She tells many of the nurse aides she works with that they need to go to nursing school. In fact, her daughter plans for a nursing career.
“You see these CNAs that are so compassionate – so caring,” Quilimaco said. “They’re always encouraging everybody.
Nursing has deepened her understanding of life, its seasons and the daily fabric that enriches daily living.
Responsibility is a key factor in nursing and to succeed in helping others, she said.
“In all of those roles you’re caring. You’re a caretaker, stepping into people’s lives by helping them where they need help,” Quilimaco said. “You’re there for them whenever they need somebody to be there.”
In her daily life she has felt compelled to help other people she sees in public. So far, there hasn’t been an emergency in public that she has responded to. But she is prepared.
“I find that people will walk up to me and ask me questions, not necessarily health related but ‘Can you help me find this?’ or ‘Can you help me reach this?’”
More often, she responds when her grandchildren run to her with a minor injury from play.
She often shares her leisure time with her grandchildren, two in Guthrie and one living in Stillwater. Her family loves to be at the lake.

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