Employer News - Home and pet sitters wanted in Scotland – An ideal role for retirees wanting flexible employment in 2019

Posted on 28 January, 2019

Jim & Ros Slaughter with 3 dogs

Home and pet sitting is a role that is increasingly popular with older people looking to continue working flexibly during their retirement.

A recent survey by YouGov for Age Scotland [i] highlighted that 44 per cent of Scots said they were planning to work into their late 60s and beyond to enjoy a better retirement lifestyle. More than a fifth also cited enjoying the social side of working and 19 per cent worried they would get bored or lonely at home.

Alan Irvine, Managing Director of Homesitters Ltd says this trend is leading to older people seeking out alternative types of employment such as home and pet sitting.

Mr Irvine says, “Home and pet sitting suits active retired people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who love animals but want a flexible form of employment. The role offers the chance for people to travel throughout the UK, stay in fantastic homes in rural and urban locations and care for a wide variety of pets.

“It’s a sociable role, plus it’s good for physical health. Many of our homesitters look after dogs that need walking. Being in new places also encourages people to go out and about exploring. Our homesitters can choose to do as many assignments as they wish each year, fitting around other commitments.

“Homesitters receive a modest remuneration to supplement a pension, a daily food allowance and travel costs to and from the homesit are reimbursed. People can also make savings, especially in the winter, on their own utility bills if they spend a lot of time away on assignments,” adds Mr Irvine.

One Scottish couple who have been enjoying homesitting for seven years is Iain and Helen Miller, both in their 70s and from Glasgow, who have travelled around Scotland looking after people’s homes and pets.

Being able to spend time with animals was the biggest attraction of the job for the Millers. Home sitting allows them to enjoy spending time with animals without the responsibility of having a pet of their own.

Iain says, “We love all kinds of animals, and one of our favourite assignments was staying in a home with a full menagerie. There were dogs, cats, guinea pigs, chickens, tropical fish, a pygmy hedgehog and even a tortoise.”

Iain and Helen’s assignments have all been in Scotland and they enjoy travelling the country from St Andrews to the banks of the River Clyde, exploring beautiful areas they may not have visited before.

Helen says, “One of our homesits was located on the Gairloch and the views from the house were stunning. The weather was lovely and one day we were lucky enough to see a nuclear submarine going on patrol down the loch from its base in Faslane.

“Another homesit was near beautiful Cramond Beach, just outside Edinburgh, so we were able to take the dogs for lovely long walks along the beach. We were looking after an Irish Wolfhound and a Rough Haired Dachshund – one is a very large dog and the other is very small so we often turned heads!”

Iain and Helen love home and pet sitting and would recommend it to others keen to spend time with animals and add a bit of adventure into their lives.

Iain says, “We’d highly recommend Homesitters and would advise others considering the role just to go for it – and enjoy. The company is very professional and nothing is too much trouble for them. It’s an ideal way to keep active in retirement.”

Homesitters Ltd is currently on a winter recruitment drive to recruit enthusiastic and reliable people throughout Scotland to join its expanding team of homesitters.

For more information on becoming a homesitter and to apply please visit: www.homesitters.co.uk/become-a-sitter/

[i] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-41775557

http://employernews.co.uk/regional-news/scotland/home-and-pet-sitters-wanted-in-scotland-an-ideal-role-for-retirees-wanting-flexible-employment-in-2019/

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