There has been discussion back and forth on communities just for seniors and some folks think they want to be in multigenerational cohos so children would be around to interact with. I can see the benefits and the downsides. Multigenerational/intergenerational cohos are composed of families whose focus is raising children. The children who have grown up in cohos are quite fortunate and have emerged as exceptional citizens of the world. Interaction of children with elders is enriching on both sides.
In senior cohousing, although the majority of residents are 50+, there does not have to be an absence of children. There will be grandchildren and great-grandchildren and families visiting some of us.
If we want more children around, why not create a "grand-parenting" service where families can bring their children for us to babysit and tell stories and play with. Not a daycare center--too many rules and regulations by the government. Perhaps an after-school service for those who would normally be "latch-key" kids. Offer it free and therefore no regulations. We could also have a "grandparent brigade" where the residents who want can regularly visit daycare centers near our community. I am sure they would love to have us take a load off them.
The advantage would be that we don't have to build playgrounds, trip on toys strewn around the common area, have our common area used by children's activities, and have our quiet community meals without kids if we choose.
The definition of an Elder: (from The Wonder of Aging by Michael Durian)
An Elder in our society is someone of fifty or older who:
Passes on specific work and wisdom (occupies a niche, a “lifework,” a legacy, and teaches it to others, while also providing wise counsel when needed);
Models life purpose and maturity (fewer power struggles with others, more insightful respect and admiration of others, more “drawing out” of others’ gifts);
Remains as physically and mentally active as possible (takes control of damaging body-mind practices and transforms them so that the body and mind remain healthy as he or she ages so that they can be of use and enjoy life as long as possible);
Connects young people and society to mysteries of success, compassion, freedom, and faith (takes the risks of modeling both humility and self-confidence in the face of real life, while protecting others’ rights to live their own way, in their own mysteries).