Cash strapped Aussie families return to Waltons-era lifestyle - three and even four generations under the same roof -
CASH strapped Aussies are beginning to echo TV’s depression era family The Waltons, experts say.
A growing number of Australian households have three and even four generations under the same roof due to financial pressures, natural disasters, aged-care limitations, offspring staying at home longer and high childcare costs.
According to futurist Mark McCrindle, by 2020 we will flashback a century and there will be a return to the multi-generational household like the Waltons family, made famous in the smash hit television series of the ’70s and ’80s.
The award-winning series was set in the time of the Great Depression from 1929 when money was tight. Central character John-Boy lived with his many brothers and sisters, mother and father and grandparents. The world was held spellbound by the values, characters and warmth of this fictional tight-knit family unit. According to McCrindle nearly 1 in 4 people aged 20-34 continue to live in the parental home.
By 2020 there will be more 65 year olds than one year olds in Australia putting a strain on aged care.
Social analyst David Chalke believes there are many benefits to generations coming together when times are tough.
“There will be more multi-generational households in the future but it’s not all rosy. After a year of a big family sharing the same bathroom and struggling for privacy, cracks can form,” Mr Chalke.
“I don’t think we will ever revert back to the days of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Charlie Bucket lives with his poverty-stricken parents and both sets of grandparents, who share one double bed.
“I’d like to hope we have moved on from there.”
And in adversity, the security of family becomes more critical.
According to Phil Ormsby, community development officer at Queensland’s Leichhardt Community Centre in Ipswich, many families have been coming together under the one roof because of the devastation of the state’s floods.
“Every day I meet people who feel they have been let down by the system when it comes to their damaged homes but they are enjoying the experience of family unity,” he said.
“After a terrible year, family is everything and it is great that when times are tough financially and mentally you can find that it is family that really matters. The Waltons was a great example of how generational support is priceless when money is tight.
Stray cat 'army' battles west China rodent plague - Stray cats rounded up in a remote west China city are being used to catch rodents that have infested surrounding pasture lands.
Some 150 strays — dubbed by Chinese media as the "cat army" — were turned loose on the range lands outside Bole city in May to fight what the government calls a plague of rats. The
state-run Xinhua News Agency says that the cats were brought in, along with tons of poisonous rat pellets.
The Bole government said in late June that rat holes had decreased by more than half. The Xinhua report on Friday quoted a Bole official as saying the cats were proving valuable.
Rodents and other pests have grown more troublesome on the vast grasslands as a result of overgrazing and killing off traditional predators like foxes.