Working life: Diarmuid Ó Dálaigh, proprietor, Oaklodge Nursing Home, Cloyne, Co Cork

Working life: Diarmuid Ó Dálaigh, proprietor, Oaklodge Nursing Home, Cloyne, Co Cork
Diarmuid Ó Dálaigh, proprietor, Oaklodge Nursing Home, Cloyne, Co Cork Picture: Eddie O'Hare

[Diarmuid Ó Dálaigh, proprietor, Oaklodge Nursing Home, Cloyne, Co Cork

6.45am

As part of my daily routine, I practice 10 to 15 minutes of meditation before Morning Ireland. Breakfast is a family affair, with Julie, my wife, and our five young children, Bréanainn, Naoise, Conall, Siún, and Finín, ranging in age from one to 10.

8.30am

At Oaklodge, I check in with managers to see if any issues arose overnight, which may dictate my priorities for the day.

10am

I’m always keen to chat with residents and get feedback to better understand the experience of growing old with dementia, an area we specialise in.

We are currently planning a very ambitious memory care village, next to our existing nursing home, with the aim of leading the way in offering new, person centred care options to people with memory loss.

11am

Time for management meetings with our clinical governance team, with a focus on continuously improving resident safety and care.

I also have regular meetings with different staff — for example, our director of nursing, or catering and maintenance heads.

In addition, I meet with our residents’ council and family council, both excellent feedback forums and catalysts for change, influencing everything from the menu to the activities we offer.

1pm

I regularly join residents for lunch at the Lighthouse Restaurant. It’s a privilege to be able to draw on their collective wisdom.

After lunch, if the weather is favourable, I take a walk on nearby Ballycroneen or Ballyandreen strand.

2pm

At the moment, I have regular design team meetings with architects Scott Tallon Walker to discuss the memory care village.

I share our learnings from 15 years of listening to residents, staff, and families and the expertise of international academic research into dementia.

Our new development will maximise independence and minimise stress for residents and staff.

Each resident will enjoy their own front door and private garden space, on a safe, 10-acre site and I’m really looking forward to seeing the project come to fruition in 2020.

6pm

Evenings may involve meeting family or visiting experts or consultants that we work with to improve daily life in Oaklodge.

Mostly, they are spent having family dinner or volunteering at Midleton GAA club.

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