New Year, New Challenge - become a home and pet sitter in 2020

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Posted on: 12 December 2019 by Alan Irvine

People are often inspired to take on a fresh challenge at this time of year.

Research by consumer data company, Statista[i] suggests at least 14% of 50 to 65 year olds make New Year’s resolutions. The most common New Year’s resolutions[ii] tend to centre on health, but for older people they are often inspired to take on a fresh challenge at this time year.  

This can mean deciding to take on part-time work. With many people facing 30 years and over in retirement working part-time is a growing trend. Recent research by the International Longevity Centre[iii] predicts by 2028, more people aged 60 and over may work part-time than any other age group except for people aged under 30.

We have found at Homesitters Ltd that more retirees are choosing to become home and pet sitters and the start of the New Year is usually the busiest recruitment time. Home and pet sitting can be the ideal role for older people that want to take on a flexible part-time role that fits around other commitments.

The big draw for most people is the role enables them to get out and about staying in different parts of the country and taking care of people’s pets. Often older people choose not to have pets because they don’t want the commitment, but many miss the interaction. Becoming a homesitter gives them a way to spend time with pets, so it can offer the best of both worlds.

The other benefit of becoming a homesitter is people are able to supplement their pension as they earn a small remuneration, plus those that do quite a few assignments, especially during the winter months make savings on their own utility bills. We’re recruiting now so I’d encourage anyone looking for a fresh challenge in 2020 to get in touch.

One retired head teacher who has been a homesitter for the past two years is 65 year old Hilary Winter. She decided to become a homesitter as she wanted to do something useful and purposeful in retirement, spend time with animals and earn money to help fund trips to New Zealand.

Hilary was brought up with dogs and always had one while she was married. Since retiring, she travels to New Zealand regularly for long spells to visit her daughter and grandsons, so is unable to own a dog. Therefore one of the biggest attractions of home and pet sitting is spending time with dogs and enjoying their company on walks and in the client’s home.

She says, “It’s always easy to find an excuse not to go out for a walk on a wet, windy day but there’s nothing like the virtuous feeling you have after a walk on a wet day – I enjoy the dog walking enormously.”

Hilary has undertaken a variety of assignments including looking after hens and fish, spending a summer watering tomatoes in a greenhouse and a glamorous assignment in a luxury property in Mayfair walking a small dog in Hyde Park. One of Hilary’s favourite things about the role is that it gives her time to get on with things without the distractions of her own home.

Hilary explains, “When I was working I didn’t have any time to myself, so I had an enormous list of things to do when I retired. However, it’s very easy to put off doing things when you’re at home because there is always something more immediate that needs doing. Now when I go on a homesit I always take a project with me.

“Just before my son and daughter-in-law got married I did a homesit and took my sewing machine with me. Once I’d finished the daily tasks requested by the client, I made yards and yards of bunting for the wedding.

“On another assignment I took all my loose sofa covers to reupholster. I love the fact I can take projects with me and come back home having completed them.  On my next homesit I’ll be making up a scrapbook of my last visit to New Zealand.”

Hilary has had so many interesting homesitting experiences that her friends always want to know about her latest assignment.  She is so positive about it that her brother has become a homesitter too.

Homesitters Ltd is currently looking for home and pet sitters throughout the UK. The role involves staying in people’s home when they go away, taking care of the home and any pets.

 

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