May 21, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Homesitting – the job with the feel-good factor

Ben Irvine, Operations Director at Homesitters Ltd is highlighting the wellbeing benefits of becoming a home and pet sitter which can offer a real boost to older people looking to keep busy in retirement.

This comes as the firm’s recent research with 400 of its homesitters showed the role has a positive effect on mental and physical health, with 90% reporting that homesitting had 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. For older people participation in meaningful activities and physical health are two key factors that can affect mental health[i].


Ben, who is Director of Operations at Homesitters Ltd said: “Homesitting is a great role for retirees as it’s flexible and can fit around other commitments. It gives people the opportunity to discover new places, look after pets and do something responsible and enjoyable, whilst also earning a bit of extra cash.


“It’s a sociable job where people meet clients and other people when on assignment. It also encourages people to do more exercise, whether that’s daily dog walks or exploring the local area. Both socialising and exercise are renowned for improving mental wellbeing.

“We encourage retirees considering taking on a fresh challenge to get in touch and find out how they could benefit from becoming a homesitter.”


One couple benefiting from the homesitting lifestyle are Jim and Ros Slaughter, a retired couple in their 70’s from Chichester and have been home sitting for the last eleven years.

They wanted to do something a bit different but still purposeful in retirement. Getting a part time job or setting up a business didn’t really appeal because they didn’t want to be tied into a routine anymore. They wanted the freedom to travel extensively, visit new places and meet new people and say homesitting is the perfect job.

Jim read an article about home sitting and thought it sounded like an ideal way to combine their many interests. The couple are both very sporty and active. Ros plays golf and is an avid gardener and both of them love walking and are great animal lovers.

One of their biggest attractions of home sitting was the opportunity to look after other people’s dogs. They have been ‘surrounded by pets’ all their lives so being a pet sitter made perfect sense and have relished looking after such a huge variety of dogs which have included Alsatians, Pugs, Westies, lots of Labradors and even Samoyed dogs.

The Slaughters now have six or seven regular clients located in Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, Kent and the greater London area who invite them back four or five times a year.


Ros said, “The pets are everything to us. We love staying in grand houses and we have some fabulous clients who are really interesting and lovely. Home sitting provides a real break from the routine and a chance to get fit walking the dogs. We’re very careful to be strict about the pets’ routines – no client wants to come home to an overfed dog.”

Jim and Ros have achieved a great work life balance and really enjoy home sitting in retirement and they look forward to doing it for many more years.


For more information and to apply to become a homesitter visit: