Arielle Nicolas

Patricia White's carer

She reveals: "I've always been a people person but that experience with my grandparents was part of why I decided to become a carer.

"I think that how most people feel about children and babies is how I feel about old people – I’ve got such a passion for them. Knowing that I can come in and make a difference in their lives is the most satisfying thing."
Originally from South Africa, Arielle is now a self-employed live-in carer and is matched with her clients through introduction agency, Patricia Whites.

Assignments can be just a few days or several months and the locations she's travelled to have ranged from the south coast to Northumberland. However, there's one common feature of her work: "Dementia is a challenge for 90 per cent of the people I’ve cared for."

Her understanding of dementia, her training and working in partnership with family and medical professionals means that, with her live-in support, clients can remain living independently at home for as long as possible.

Arielle says: "People want to stay at home if possible – it was the same for my grandparents and you can understand it. When I try to put myself in their shoes I would much prefer the comforting surroundings of home than a hospital.

"Whoever I’m with I find out what they’re interested in and go with that. That could be going for walks if the client is able, reading magazines, watching TV together, playing bridge or chess, or doing jigsaw puzzles.
She continues: "As a carer I know I must go in and adapt to the client’s lifestyle so that as much as possible it feels normal, but with me there to provide that helping hand if needed."