Retiremove - How homesitting can offer retirees adventure
Posted on 24 July, 2017
Homesitting has become an attractive option for many women over 65 discovers ELLIE O'DONNELL
Women over 65 are opting to become homesitters as 75 per cent of participants in a recent survey revealed.
Alan Irvine, Chairman of Homesitters Ltd which conducted the research, explains: “Our research highlights that retired women are relishing being homesitters because it provides the opportunity for a little adventure.
"They enjoy meeting new people and the fact the role keeps them active, especially if they are looking after dogs, and they appreciate being able to stay in beautiful properties.”
The survey aimed to gauge the opinions of homesitters, their motivations to take on the role and the challenges they face on the job. The benefits to homeowners was also investigated.
Homesitters said that the most rewarding part of the role was being able to explore other parts of the UK, whilst nearly three quarters said looking after animals was the best part of the job.
Other beneficial aspects included, living in beautiful homes and having a break from the routines of life. Apart from this, many valued the financial benefits of the job, 75 per cent said they appreciated the extra income during their retirement.
For clients, the top three benefits of having someone take care of their home and pet were:
1. “Knowing they will return to a happy pet and a tidy home”
2. “Someone to look after their pets”
3. “Keeping the house secure”
There are many positives of the homesitting role, however, it is not without some challenges, 48 per cent of employees said they found it difficult to get to grips with how everything works in the home, whilst 37 per reported problems having the responsibility of securing the home.
Homesitters can mainly expect to be looking after cats or dogs, however, some reported taking care of pygmy goats, peacocks, chinchillas, donkeys, bearded dragons, poisonous tree frogs, snakes, and tarantulas. One homesitter had to look after a hawk that had to be fed live mice!
With Homesitters Ltd, employees are given options on assignments that appeal to them. The company also offers a 24/7 support centre to solve any problems for employees on assignments.
Alan Irvine comments: “We are always looking for reliable people to join us throughout the UK. The role offers great variety; someone could be staying in a multi-million pound town house one week and a remote farmhouse the next – no assignment is the same.”
For those interested in exploring homesitting, Homesitters Ltd has provided some top tips
- Treat the clients’ home with respect and do exactly what they say about taking care of their pets
- Make sure you have a preliminary meeting to run through how the home works and pets’ routines
- When out of the home, ensure you have emergency contact numbers with you
- Take plenty of reading material
- Ask for freezer space (especially on a Christmas sit)
- Find out about tourist attractions nearby
- Follow instructions, don’t feel overwhelmed and enjoy the experience
- Take your own bedding for home comforts, plus an electric blanket in winter
- Have a Satnav or map of the area
- Ask for written instructions on the needs of the pets and house security
- Know where the fuse box is, as well as candles/torch in case the power goes off
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
- Always be prepared for the client to return unannounced
- Relax and enjoy the variety of assignments but remember this is a serious business, so don’t take any short cuts
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