Boost wellbeing and beat the cost-of-living by becoming a home and pet sitter

On 10th October World Mental Health Day[i], leading home and pet sitting company, Homesitters Ltd is highlighting how the role can boost both mental and physical wellbeing, as well as financial wellbeing at a time when the cost-of-living is continuing to bite.

A report earlier this year commissioned by Nuffield Health[ii] showed that the nation’s physical and mental health is being significantly impacted by the cost-of-living crisis.

It found over one in three people (35%) reported that their physical health had deteriorated in the last year, and nearly one in four people (23%) rated their mental health as poor, while one in three reported that their mental health has got worse over the last year.

The report also showed that almost one in three people (32%) said that exercise improves their mental health, with over a quarter (27%) saying that exercise lifts their mood and helps them feel less anxious or depressed.

Ben Irvine, Director of Operations at Homesitters Ltd said: “Homesitting involves taking care of a client’s home and pets when they go away. The role can enhance mental wellbeing through caring and being around pets, plus it’s an opportunity to explore different places which can lead to personal growth and a broader perspective on life.

“It also promotes an active lifestyle which is great for physical health, from daily walks with dogs and looking after the home to encouraging more exercise visiting new places. Financially its enables people to earn a bit of extra money, plus make savings on their own bills when on assignments. This all contributes to a boost in wellbeing.”

Homesitter’s research with 400 of its homesitters showed the role has a positive effect on mental and physical health, with 90% reporting a positive impact on their overall wellbeing. The study also found that homesitters feel happier, are better off, and have a sense of purpose in retirement due to homesitting.

One homesitter reaping the benefits from homesitting is 81-year-old Margaret Mackleworth who has done over 200 homesits. She takes on as many assignments as she can fit in around volunteering for Age Concern and family commitments, as she likes to keep busy.

With the cost-of-living continuing to impact people it provides an income as well as savings on her energy bills when she is on assignment.  Homesitters receive a modest remuneration, plus a food allowance and mileage paid by the client.

Margaret says, “I absolutely love homesitting. It slots in nicely around my commitments and I do as many assignments as I can. I really notice the energy savings, especially in the winter months and the money I earn is a welcome boost to my pension.

“I usually take food with me for the start of the assignment, but then can just top it up with the food allowance I get on the assignment, meaning I can save a little here each time, plus the mileage is handy. It all adds up!”

For Margaret, who previously owned a Border collie and loves animals, particularly dogs it’s the ideal flexible role. Where she lives currently doesn’t allow a pet so home sitting gives her the opportunity to spend time with animals, offering what she says is the next best thing.

Margaret says, “Homesitting is the perfect job for me, I love to visit new places and meet new people and I find that dog walking is very sociable! One of my favourite things is to go for long walks in the countryside so I enjoy rural homesits with dogs. I’m a fit and healthy 81-year-old and I’ve got itchy feet, so like to be out and about exploring places.

“I’ve met some lovely people and pets, and stayed in some great properties. I have every intention continuing homesitting for as long as I can, and highly recommend it as a role for retirees. If you like animals and travelling, and want to earn a bit of money it’s fantastic.”

Homesitters is currently recruiting. For more information and to apply visit: www.homesitters.co.uk

[i] https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day/2023

[ii] https://www.lboro.ac.uk/news-events/news/2023/june/new-report-highlights-cost-of-living-crisis-impact

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