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Why home and pet sitting is good for your health

Looking for a’retirement hobby’?  Homesitters could be just the opportunity you need

Visiting new places can be a real tonic and a way to escape the hum drum of everyday life. For people that have retired and no longer have to spend their days working, getting out and about exploring is one of the things they look forward to. It’s also likely to have many health benefits.

Most of our home and pet sitters are retired people in their 50s, 60s and 70s, and one of the main attractions of the role is the opportunity to visit new places. Homesitters go and stay in people’s homes when they go away, to take care of the home and any pet’s people have.

A study in Nature Neurscience found that those with a wider variety of daily experiences are more likely to feel happier. The experiences didn’t need to be large. Instead, the findings simply found that those who travelled around their own neighbourhoods rather than sitting at home all day were happier[i].

We operate throughout the UK so homesitters have the opportunity to take on assignments close to home or further afield if they choose. Whilst on assignment they can combine exploring the local area and attractions, with their homesitting duties.

This can increase the amount of walking people do as most are keen to get out and see new things, which in turn boosts physical and mental health. Several studies show that walking can reduce blood pressure and the risk of diseases such as diabetes, as well increase metabolism and burn more calories which could help contribute to weight loss.

Walking can do wonders for mental wellbeing too[ii]. It improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue. Physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed, and staying active helps those who are depressed recover.

Another key attraction of the role is caring for animals. Many assignments involve taking care of pet’s ranging from dogs, cats and rabbits to the more unusual horses, sheep, snakes, iguanas and even African snails.

Looking after animals can bring health benefits, from physically having to taking care of their needs – feeding, cleaning their living area, washing and grooming – to spending quiet time stroking a pet. Stroking a pet is known to be a great stress reliever, with one study suggesting that just 10 minutes can significantly reduce stress[iii].

And of course walking dogs is going to bring all the benefits highlighted above from walking, and can help keep people fit! Most dogs need at least two walks a day, come rain or shine so there is a great excuse for homesitters to get in lots more exercise when on assignments.

Finally homesitting is a sociable role, and being sociable is good for people’s health. It can help prevent loneliness, help sharpen memory and cognitive skills, increase a person’s sense of happiness and well-being, and may even help people live longer[iv].

As a homesitter people will meet new clients as well have lots of opportunities to meet new people when they are on assignment. These may include a client’s gardener or cleaner, as well as people running local cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Some of our homesitters that do regular assignments end up being great friends with their clients and the people they meet when they stay in their homes. They can also form a strong bond with the family pet(s), which is a huge positive, especially since homesitters don’t usually have their own pets.

If homesitting sounds like the ideal role for you, why not apply to join us? We are recruiting home and pet sitters throughout the UK. Click here to find out more about the role and to apply.

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