Press Release - Working as a homesitter in retirement could be the key to improving your health and happiness

Posted on 1 February, 2017

Homesitter Peter Jones walking

16 February 2017 – Working longer could improve the health of people in their 50s, 60s and 70s, according to Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies[i].

Professor Davies said staying in work was one way to boost health - but taking up new activities in retirement is another way to keep physically and mentally active.

Homesitters Ltd, a national home and pet sitting company agrees, and says this is one of the main reasons people join their organisation.

Alan Irvine, Chairman of Homesitters says, “The majority of our homesitters are retired people in their 50s, 60s and 70s who want to do something to keep occupied. Homesitters stay in people’s homes when they go away, taking care of the home and any pets they have.

“Many of our clients have dogs that need walking, which is a big attraction for lots of our homesitters and a great way to keep active. For others, it’s the chance to explore the UK that appeals. The role is flexible, offering occasional employment, and, whilst the primary rewards for home and pet sitting are non-financial, homesitters receive a modest remuneration to supplement a pension or other income.”

Other research from the Office for National Statistics[ii], found that those aged 65 to 70 years old are the happiest, attributed in part to the fact they are retired and have more free time to spend on leisure activities and hobbies, which promote well-being.

Alan Irvine, Chairman of Homesitters says, “During an assignment our homesitters have plenty of time for hobbies such as painting, cooking, walking and reading, as well as getting out and about discovering new places around the UK. Many people join organisations such as the National Trust, so they can visit local properties whilst on assignment.

“Spending time caring for animals is also something many of our homesitters find rewarding and enjoyable; especially those that would love a pet but don’t want the commitment of owning one. Because the role is flexible, people can choose as many assignments as they want, so for retired people, or those nearing retirement, who want to continue working part-time it can be a great solution,” concludes Mr Irvine.

Estimates[iii] show that by 2020, a third of British workers will be aged over 50. More than three quarters of people aged between 50 and pension age are still in active employment, along with 12 per cent of those over pension age.

Ellen Hart from Ascot in Berkshire, a sixty-five year old former orthopaedic nurse, has been working as a homesitter for three years since she retired. Raised on a farm, Ellen has had plenty of experience looking after animals. She had pet cats and dogs as a child and also enjoyed horse riding.However, she describes herself as ‘a cat person’.

Ellen says, “I wanted to do something useful and interesting when I retired. Since starting at Homesitters, I have stayed in gorgeous properties ranging from beautiful townhouses to characterful thatched cottages and met some lovely people.

“All the assignments are varied – sometimes there are animals to look after and in other cases, the owners want someone to look after their home while they’re away for security reasons and to let in the cleaners and gardeners. I love driving, which has meant that I have taken on assignments in many different locations including Kent, Hampshire and London.”

For homesitter, Pat Hughes, a retired maternity nurse from Norfolk, one of the big attractions of the job is keeping fit and active. Pat says, “When I visit new locations I throw my wellies and walking clothes in the car and go walking. If I’m looking after dogs I take them for long walks, but even if there are no dogs on the assignment I still enjoy walking on my own.”

“I’m very independent and active, I always take my Rosemary Connelly exercise DVD with me on assignments and in the evenings I enjoy playing scrabble online with other people around the world, do jigsaw puzzles or read.”

Homesitters Ltd is currently recruiting for homesitters throughout the UK and is keen to hear from people who think they would be suitable.

For more information on becoming a homesitter visit:


About Homesitters Ltd

Homesitters Ltd was established in 1980 and is now one of the UK’s leading nationwide live-in home and pet sitting companies, available throughout the year. It has looked after over 90,000 bookings and has an extensive network of employees throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

All homesitters are meticulously vetted and are conscientious, sensible and responsible homeowners. Many have been pet owners and have experience looking after all different types of animals. It’s tantamount to the outstanding reputation and professionalism of the company that 70% of new clients re-book with Homesitters within two years and many have been clients since the 1980s.





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