Retiring may lead to low mood or worsening existing symptoms of depression according to research[i] as people adjust to life without the routine of work.
The Mental Health Foundation highlights that depression affects about 22% of men and 28% of women aged 65 years and older. Even those not experiencing low mood or depression can find retirement challenging as they can feel they have lost their purpose and identity.
According to leading home and pet sitting company, Homesitters Ltd, keeping busy in retirement by taking on a part-time flexible role like homesitting can be a meaningful solution.
Research from the company this year found that homesitters feel happier, are better off, and have a sense of purpose in retirement due to homesitting.
Ben Irvine, Director of Operations at Homesitters Ltd said: “After retiring some people can experience a real sense of loss and self-worth as they no longer have their career to focus on or work colleagues to interact with.
“This is why many of our homesitters chose the role, some even before they retired, as they want the structure, responsibility and purpose it offers. It’s a flexible position that involves taking care of people’s homes and pets when they go away.
“Homesitters can choose how many assignments they do each year, which means it can work around other commitments such as travelling or spending time on hobbies. The top benefits for most are exploring the UK, looking after pets, and having a change of scenery.”
Homesitters receive a modest remuneration, they are reimbursed for mileage when they travel to and from an assignment, and they receive a daily food allowance. They also make savings on their own bills when they are on assignment.
63-year-old Julie Wade from Kent decided to become a homesitter after finding that retirement didn’t completely suit her. Previously she had enjoyed a fast-paced career as a senior manager at John Lewis, but after retiring felt that she had lost her purpose in life.
She thought that becoming a homesitter would not only keep her busy but enable her to combine her two passions of animals and travelling.
Julie says: “I’ve always loved to travel and when I turned 40, I made a promise to myself to visit a new country every year. As a homesitter, I still get to travel around the UK visiting lots of new places and different counties rather than different countries, having adventures and meeting new people and their pets.”
Julie is very much focused on doing homesitting to make the most of the new experiences including staying in interesting places and being around animals. She says: “It feels good to be out of the rat race and finally have time to do all the things that life gets too busy for.”
Julie describes home and pet sitting as ‘the perfect job’ and says: ‘I’m so pleased I’ve finally found a job which allows me to have it all; time with my family, free time to go to new places and have adventures, and a great way to stay active and fit.”
Ben adds: “We’re currently recruiting more homesitters and are looking for responsible and reliable people, who are good listeners, and will be sensitive to our clients’ requirements. Proven pet-care skills and a genuine affinity for animals is a bonus too. Anyone that thinks they fit the bill we’d love to hear from.”
For more information and to apply to become a homesitter visit: www.homesitters.co.uk