Chiswick Care Manager Wins Care Leader of the Future Award

Magdalena Chmielewska, Registered Manager at Walfinch home care Chiswick, Hammersmith and Kensington, is driving positive change in her care team and the local community. Now she has been named winner of the Leader of the Future (home care) award in the Leading Women in Care (LWIC) awards.

The award, sponsored by Birdie care software, recognises people with exceptional leadership potential, innovative thinking and a commitment to driving positive change in social care.

Magdalena says: “I am delighted to win – and it makes me more determined to help create a co-operative, multidisciplinary approach to improve our clients’ lives.”

Magdalena believes carers should be trained to the highest professional standards, and is keen to be involved on a practical level.

This means Magdalena can sometimes be seen in the local streets in a wheelchair, being steered by a carer. “Pushing a wheelchair looks simple but it’s quite complex in practice,” she says. “I get carers to practice taking me in a wheelchair up and down kerbs and on and off buses.”

Formula 1 fun

Recently she took a formerly mobile client out in a wheelchair for the first time, and pretended that they were in a Formula 1 car. “It was fun, which is one of our core values at Walfinch, and it reduced the stress for the client and the carer who was shadowing me.”

Magdalena’s previous experience as a live-in carer, and in sourcing care, means she has an all-round view of care issues. She expects her care team to actively improve clients’ lives. “One client wanted to return to driving. We took her to a Driving Mobility centre, where experts provided a risk assessment and recommended a modified car and specialist equipment.

“Now she is behind the wheel again, with a carer who can take over the driving if she feels too tired.”

Accessing extra care

She also trains her team to help clients get extra assistance. “NHS and council resources are there, but my experience of obtaining care means I know it can be hard to access them, so I train carers in ways that can make that easier,” she says.

Her proudest moment? “I succeeded in getting NHS continuing healthcare funding for a client with swiftly deteriorating dementia. Her care was increased from two hours to full-time. Her family were so grateful. Their response always brings me close to happy tears.”    

Community education

“Our care team benefit hugely from Magdalena’s specialised training sessions, and she extends her education to the local community,” says Tanya Santos, Managing Director of Walfinch home care Chiswick, Hammersmith and Kensington.

“In our recent “Brain Health and Well-being for Dementia” event Magdalena delivered a presentation for members of the local council, NHS professionals and the general public, that told the story of a former ballerina with Alzheimer’s who found joy in making dance movements. It moved some to tears and gave many a newfound determination to make a positive difference in the lives of people affected by Dementia,” says Tanya.

“We are beyond proud of Magdalena for winning this award. She inspires the team daily with her work ethic, energy and commitment to providing the best possible service to our clients.”

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